Top 10 Winners and Losers in Pa. Senate Redistricting Plan
By Keegan Gibson, Managing Editor
If the preliminary map is adopted without significant changes, Republicans will have a lock on the Pennsylvania Senate for the next decade. PoliticsPA talked with campaign consultants, political operatives and legislative staffers to see which members benefit from the plan, and who doesn’t.
You can view the maps here, and read about some of the specific district changes here.Granted, these are preliminary maps and are subject to change. Subject, but not likely.
We’re currently working on a similar list for the Pa. House. If you have suggestions for who should be on it, please email Sy the member’s name, district number and explanation. Your suggestions will be totally anonymous.
Jeff Piccola. In perhaps the starkest example of gerrymandering in either chamber, Piccola’s district now snakes around Harrisburg and its tossup suburbs. His leadership role in pushing the state takeover of Harrisburg, and his high-profile support of school choice, left him ripe for the picking in what was already a favorable district for Democrats.
Kim Ward. Ward impressed party leaders when she won a tossup special election for her Westmoreland County district. Now she’ll represent the southern half of Somerset County as well. Not having to worry about tight re-election campaigns will likely free up her future schedule for bigger and better things.
Elder Vogel. Republicans were initially salivating at rumors that Vogel might retire after just one term. Instead, he’ll be promoted from a moderate to a lean R district by picking up some of the most Republican parts of Butler County.
Rich Kasunic. If you’re going to make Republican districts more red, it stands to reason that some Democratic districts will grow more blue. Fayette County-based Kasunic will shed Somerset County in exchange for much friendlier territory in Greene Counte. He couldn’t have drawn a much better district from himself if he had tried.
Bob Mensch/Lisa Boscola. Mensch gets to unload the Democratic centers of Easton and Emmaus; Boscola gets to pick them up.
Rep. Mario Scavello. He’s on the list and he isn’t even a Senator! (Yet). Republicans emphasized repeatedly that the new Senate district in Monroe County actually gives Democrats the advantage. Fat chance. Scavello’s House district represents a big chunk of the county, and he’d be a strong front runner to win the new Monroe County-based seat.
Jim Brewster. You know how they say it’s easier to get a new job if you’re already currently employed? That’s what Sen. Sean Logan likely thought when he saw the writing on the wall for this district and left to work for UMPC. This choice is fairly obvious – Brewster’s district along eastern Allegheny County lost almost the highest percentage of any district in the state, and he’s only served in office since January.
John Wozniak. Welcome to the list of top GOP targets, Senator. Wozniak shed half of Clinton County, Philipsburg and all of Centre County, and more. He picked up the entirety of Bedford County, where voters typically send Republicans to the Pa. Senate by a 2 to 1 margin.
Rob Teplitz. The bottom just fell out from under Teplitz, one of the Senate Dems’ top recruits for 2012. His Act-47-based challenge to Sen. Jeff Piccola is a moot point.
Note: There are fewer downs because there are fewer Senate Dems. Also, many incumbent Democrats will see additional blue voters added to their districts to balance GOP incumbent protection efforts.
Correction: We accidentally wrote Mark in an earlier version, rather than Rep. Mario Scavello’s actual name.