The Legislative Reapportionment Commission approved Pennsylvania’s new legislative district maps by a 4-1 vote on Friday afternoon.
The Commission members are Mark A. Nordenberg (chair), Kim L. Ward, Jay Costa, Joanna E. McCinton and Kerry A. Benninghoff. Only Benninghoff voted in opposition.
SpotlightPA reports that the new state House map reduces the number of incumbent Republicans who would have to face off against one another, compared to an initial plan released by the commission in December. The final state Senate map remains largely unchanged, though it was amended to create a new district in Philadelphia with a significant number of Hispanic voters.
Benninghoff (R-Centre/Mifflin) offered an alternative plan to the House map at the meeting, but his amendment was defeated 3-2.
The new map, which reflects population changes in the commonwealth, could potentially shift the balance of power in Pennsylvania. According to DavesRedistricting.com, 81 House districts lean Republican, 95 lean Democratic and 27 fall in the competitive 45-55% range. The Senate map has 20 districts that lean Republican, 21 that lean Democratic and nine that fall in the competitive range.
In accordance with Pennsylvania Constitution, Article II, Section 17(d), any aggrieved person may file an appeal directly to the Supreme Court within 30 days after the filing.
With a court challenge likely, candidates for office are still in limbo as the February 15 date to begin collecting petition signatures is less than two weeks away.
This ineptitude by the Republican Legislators is crippling our state. Candidates need to know when to petition and need time to campaign. I believe the Republicans are dragging their feet on purpose to delay any opposition from organizing
This process needs to move forward post haste. .
If these are fairly mapped districts, that shows how badly GOP had gerrymandered the old maps. Of course, GOP will shed crocodile tears whining how this Commission undoing their gerrymandering is not fair.
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