Voters who challenged congressional map fault GOP proposal

Here's what the new Pa. congressional map could look like

Pa. Republican leaders meet challenge to redraw congressional districts

"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.

Because of that, some in Republican circles have said they feel the maps would need to be gerrymandered to favor Democrats if the goal were to create a map that would result in a 50-50 split of the state's 18 U.S. House seats. They succeeded, securing 13 of 18 seats in three straight elections in a state where registered Democratic voters outnumber Republicans and Democrats hold a large majority of statewide offices.

"While the court's order did not appear to allow for two individuals to draw a map on behalf of the entire General Assembly, Gov. Wolf will review Speaker Turzai and President Scarnati's submission in consultation with the experts retained by the administration to determine his next course of action", Wolf spokesman J.J. Abbott said in a statement late Friday.

A better scenario would be for Gov. Tom Wolf or the court to signal to the Legislature that a map will not be approved unless it strictly conforms to the Pennsylvania Constitution's mandate of "compact and contiguous territory ... almost equal in population" and is drawn without unnecessarily carving up municipalities.

Here's what the new Pa. congressional map could look like

Crompton said the map will be turned into legislation but a decision about whether to bring it up for floor votes early next week will partially depend on the response from Wolf.

"I don't know how many districts Trump won" or how any district performed for any candidate, Crompton said. Under a new map, that could change.

Democrat Chrissy Houlahan, of Devon, now lives in Pennsylvania's 6th Congressional District, centered on Chester County.

Democrats hope to take control of the U.S. House in elections this fall, and their path to a majority runs through moderate turf in places like the Philadelphia suburbs.

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That would potentially give her an easier path to Congress - since the Republican incumbent in the Seventh, Rep. Pat Meehan's 7th District, labeled "Goofy Kicking Donald Duck" - faces an overhaul, perhaps by packing tendrils now snaking through five counties closer to its longtime anchor of Delaware County.

New districts will likely increase Democratic chances to win several seats.

The 12th District could become more compact.

The court's majority said it would draw the lines itself if an acceptable map is not reached by next week. "But you can rest assured the governor and his staff is going to go over it with a fine-tooth comb", he said.

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The map released Friday provided broad outlines of districts. "I'd love to see Westmoreland be the base for the district".

Similar concerns have been raised in the western part of the state, during the lead-up to a highly contested special election in the 18th District to replace Rep. Tim Murphy, who resigned amid scandal and whose term was set to expire at the end of this year.

The new map, whether accepted by Wolf or drawn up by the state Supreme Court, will be used for the May 15 primary.

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.

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"As a league member, I am very happy with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's decision", said Jean Harris, University of Scranton political science professor. Conor Lamb would be moved to Doyle's 14th District, instead of the vacant 18th District. For instance, four districts remain heavily packed with Democratic voters.

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