Pennsylvania GOP Submits New Congressional Map to Governor

12 Febrero, 2018, 02:03 | Author: Kelly Blake
  • Gov. Tom Wolf gives his budget address at the state Capitol in Harrisburg this week

Wolf said he would consider his options if the map were not the result of a "bipartisan process".

"The Republican legislative leaders in the House and Senate have agreed to a congressional district map that complies fully with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's order and opinion", state Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati and House Speaker Mike Turzai said in a joint statement.

Any redrawing could have significant implications not only for the state but for national politics as well, as Democrats hope to chip away at a Republican majority in the House.

Wolf has until Thursday to tell the Supreme Court if the General Assembly has produced a plan he supports. If not, the court has indicated it may develop one of its own.

Beyond incumbents, there are more than 60 candidates running for Congress statewide. That would have been true under the proposed map as well, according to an Inquirer/Daily News analysis. The party needs to capture 24 seats nationwide to retake control of the House in November elections.

The 7th District, which has been particularly criticized, would cover large areas of Montgomery and DE counties and a portion of eastern Chester County.

Now that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has thrown out the current congressional districts as unconstitutional, the Legislature, the governor and the court must now decide to implement a short-term fix or to establish a game-changing precedent. In a map proposed by Republicans she would instead be drawn into the 7th Congressional District, based in Delaware County.

They argued that violated the court order's discussion of "enactment of a remedial congressional districting plan".

Bradford County Commissioner Doug McLinko is a Republican challenging incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Marino of Lycoming Twp.in the 10th District primary. Pat Meehan, is not running again and there is no clear front-runner in the crowded Democratic primary there.

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Democrats' choice would come down to this: a strong opportunity, on paper, to flip one seat (in the Seventh District) while having little chance in the Sixth, or taking a shot at winning both seats, with somewhat tougher odds.

The newly-drawn political map was ordered on January 22 by the state Supreme Court, which invalidated the existing congressional district boundaries as an illegal gerrymander created by the Republican-controlled state legislature. "Confusion for voters has been minimized", Crompton said. "We are not engaging in speculation". His district - which Clinton narrowly won - would become more conservative, and his challenger would be moved out. "I'll beat her then, too".

Wolf's office has said it may not comment on the GOP proposal until Monday.

The Legislature's two top-ranking Republicans unveiled their proposed map late Friday, three weeks after the five Democrats on the state Supreme Court declared the existing map unconstitutional because it put partisan aims above other map-drawing criteria.

Voter registration breakdowns for the proposed districts weren't immediately available, but Democrats were quick to question whether the GOP drawn map goes far enough to cure disparities. The districts limit splits dramatically.

"Where you make the splits is where the art of the gerrymander lies", Wang said. For instance, four districts remain heavily packed with Democratic voters. And no party affiliation or election outcome data should be used to draw the maps.

"And of course", he wrote in an email, "these are seasoned politicians who know their state very well!" Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected an emergency appeal filed by Republican lawmakers.

"We're just going to wait and see what the final map looks like", he said.

Wolf has until February 15 to accept or reject the new map.

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