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Old 05-24-2018, 04:45 PM
Location: Nescopeck, Penna. (birthplace)
12,351 posts, read 7,517,455 times
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As a lifelong Pennsylvanian, and one of those affected, I've followed the recent redistricting controversies with considerable interest. I'm a resident of the "new" Ninth District -- the "old" Ninth was centered around Altoona, and has been represented by the conservative Republican Shusters ("Bud" and Bill; father and son) for over forty years.

But the "new' Ninth is overwhelmingly rural, centered on Schuylkill County (Pottsville) plus all of Carbon, Columbia, Lebanon, and Montour, plus "lower" Luzerne (where I live, includes Hazleton and the rural southern and western environs, but not the Wyoming Valley (Wilkes-Barre)), and the rural northern portions of Berks County (but not Reading)

Primaries were held last week, and the general election will pit Republican entrepreneur Dan Meuser against former state Secretary of Agriculture Dennis Wolff.

The population of the "new" Ninth District is 96% Caucasian, and the largest non-white population is Latino, concentrated in Hazleton (the District's largest (and growing) center of population -- home of departing Congressman Lou Barletta and a focal point of recent immigration controversies.

Although the outcome of this contest will undoubtedly disappoint the "progressive" Social Justice Warrior movement, this might be, nevertheless, a race to watch.

Last edited by 2nd trick op; 05-24-2018 at 05:20 PM..
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Old 05-25-2018, 12:38 PM
460 posts, read 194,623 times
Reputation: 506
I'm in the new 1st (old 8th), which was probably the least changed district in the whole state (it is Bucks plus a sliver of Montco - only which sliver of Montco is tacked on to Bucks changed). Of course, this district is split nearly 50-50, so there was no real reason to ungerrymander it. In my district, moderate GOP Rep Brian Fitzpatrick was challenged from the right by gun-ho pro-Trump lawyer Dean Malik, while progressive establishment candidate Scott Wallace took on Navy lawyer Rachel Reddick. Both Fitzpatrick and Wallace staved off their grassroots opponents. My feeling is that Fitzpatrick will likely survive in a very close election in what should be a fairly pro-Dem election cycle in general.

Your district is not exactly fertile ground for liberal progressivism, so I'm not terribly shocked that the super liberal candidate lost the primary. It's certainly better for the Democratic chances of winning the general election (although even that is likely a stretch).

In general, trashing partisan gerrymanders is a great thing for the country, regardless of which party is doing the gerrymandering (and they both do it...). Gerrymandering just creates districts controlled by the ideologically extreme party bases and not districts where politically moderate compromise candidates can win.
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Old 05-25-2018, 02:36 PM
Location: Northern Appalachia
5,175 posts, read 6,365,875 times
Reputation: 6069
I think the new district map is a huge step in the right direction but I think they can do a little better the next time around. I think computer GIS applications can do more to minimize cutting across county lines. I think the key issue is for people to be able to easily know what district they are located. Butler County is divided in half. Westmoreland County is split and the town of Pleasant Unity is split. According to the Westmoreland County Elections Bureau, the Pleasant Unity precinct has 846 eligible voters: 620 in the 14th District, and 226 in the 13th District.They all vote at the same location. See Pleasant Unity voters sort through redistricting | TribLIVE
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