Redistricting Vote: Who Crossed Party Lines and Why
By Keegan Gibson, Managing Editor
The Republican-drawn congressional map passed the Pa. House Tuesday by a surprisingly wide margin of 136 to 61. 40 percent of the Democratic caucus voted in its favor.
36 Democrats – not just from Philadelphia and Pittsburgh – voted for the plan, while 8 Republicans – mostly from the Lancaster County and the Lehigh Valley – voted no. The 2 to 1 margin in favor bodes poorly for potential efforts to challenge the map in court.
Here’s a breakdown of the State Reps who voted against their party on SB 1249.
Dem. City Committee Chairman and U.S. Congressman Bob Brady lobbied his allies in Harrisburg to vote for the map, and it wasn’t too bad for Rep. Chaka Fattah either. These 18 Democrats aren’t necessarily Brady’s people (though many are), but they’re in the Philly orbit and voted for the map:
Louise Bishop, Vanessa Brown, Michelle Brownlee, Mark Cohen, Angel Cruz, Margo Davidson, Maria Donatucci, Kenyatta Johnson, William Keller, Thaddeus Kirkland, John Myers, Cherelle Parker, James Roebuck, John Sabatina, Curtis Thomas, Ron Waters, Jewell Williams, and Rosita Youngblood.
Brady ally Tina Tartaglione cast the deciding vote in favor of the plan in the Pa. Senate State Government Committee last week (it passed committee 6-5; she voted against it on the Senate floor).
Brady also has sway for those seeking statewide office; his backing can make the difference in a Democratic primary. Eugene DePasquale of York County is running for Auditor General; he voted yes. Rep. Mike Gerber (D-Montgomery), who is thought to have higher political ambitions, also voted yes. The map’s authors appear to have taken him into account; they went to deliberate lengths to ensure that Gerber remained in Rep. Allyson Schwartz’s district. His home precinct is split from the rest of Whitpain Township, the majority of which is now represented by Rep. Pat Meehan.
Dom Costa, Paul Costa, Dan Deasy, Anthony DeLuca, Marc Gergely , Bill Kortz, Nick Kotik, Joe Preston, Adam Ravenstahl and Harry Readshaw.
Several Pa. Reps. who votes yes are currently represented by Rep. Tim Holden (D-Schuylkill), or will be under the new map. It indicates that Holden, who went from an R+6 to a D+6 district on the new map, also lobbied for its passage. Here are the five Holdenites who voted yes:
Michael Carroll, Neal Goodman, Sid Michaels Kavulich, Kenneth Smith and Ed Staback.
John Galloway of Levittown in Bucks County, also voted yes.
Republicans voting no fell into two main groups. Lancaster Reps who opposed the County’s split between Reps. Joe Pitts and Meehan were Ryan Aument, Scott Boyd and Dave Hickernell. Though the entire Lancaster delegation had threatened to opposed the plan, John Bear, Tom Creighton and Gordon Denlinger voted yes. Bryan Cutler did not vote.
GOP, Lehigh Valley
The delegation representing Northampton County – Joe Emrick, Marcia Hahn and Justin Simmons – opposed the plan because it splits Easton from the rest of the Lehigh Valley district of Rep. Charlie Dent. It’s been the cause of outcry in the LV and would have been a politically perilous vote. Republicans from Lehigh or Northampton counties who voted yes were Gary Day, Julie Harhart, and Doug Reichley.
Rep. Doyle Heffley (R-Carbon) likely voted no because his county will be split in two to facilitate Holden’s acquisition of Scranton, Wilkes-Barre and Easton (split between Holden and Barletta).
Rep. Mark Gillen (R-Berks) likely voted no because his 128th district in the Reading suburbs is split into three congressional districts – the victim of both the zany gerrymandering that links the city of Reading to Pitts’ district, and the effort to shore up Meehan. His district is pictured above.
On the Democratic side, Pa. Reps. Phyllis Mundy and Chelsa Wagner did not vote. Nor did Republicans Cutler, John Evans, Denny O’Brien, Rick Saccone.
Correction: The original version of this story reported that Bryan Barbin of Cambria County voted yes. He voted no.