Redistricting Watch: Specific Names and Districts Emerge for Pa. Legislative Chopping Block

By Keegan Gibson, Managing Editor

Capitolwire is an embarrassment of riches this morning, with two great behind-the-scenes looks at Pa. legislative redistricting.

Caucus leaders and staffers are scrambling to strike a deal on the House and Senate maps in advance of the Legislative Reapportionment Commission meeting on Monday, October 31.

First is Pete DeCoursey’s look at the Pa. House, where his sources indicate that Democrats have agreed to move the seats of Reps. Bud George (whose Clearfield County seat no Democrat will win should George ever leave office) and Chelsa Wagner (who is leaving her South Hills seat to serve as Allegheny County Controller). In return, Dems gain a safe seat in Chester County, and a new Latino-majority seat in Allentown.

Reports DeCoursey:

House leaders said they believed he was going to retire, and said making his seat evaporate was a part of that process.

“Retire? Retire! Retire, my ass! What the hell would I do if I retired?!” That was George’s roaring response when I asked him if he was calling it a career.

Republicans will move the seat of Rep. Denny O’Brien (the super-moderate Philadelphian who is likely to be a City Councilman next year) and Rep. John Evans (R-Erie, who has agreed to retire). They will add a new seat in south central PA, and likely also one in Monroe County.

The plan is all about incumbent protection on both sides – and since the GOP has a strong majority they appear poised to come out ahead.

Pa. Senate negotiations are at more of a stalemate, Capitolwire reports:

Both sides are operating under the tentative assumption that the party that agrees to move a seat gets to draw the new one. However, the prospect of retirement by Republican Sens. Mary Jo White of Venango, John Pippy of Allegheny and Jane Earll of Erie wouldn’t help the GOP. So, Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi wants to move the two Democratic districts which has lost the most population: those of Sens. Jim Ferlo and James Brewster.

Read the complete Capitolwire piece on Pa. Senate redistricting.

Read the complete Capitolwire piece on Pa. House redistricting.

October 25th, 2011 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Harrisburg, Redistricting Watch, Top Stories | No Comments