Government
4:33 pm
Wed December 14, 2011

Two Southwestern Pennsylvania Democratic House Districts Cut to One

Democratic Representative Jesse White of Cecil was shocked by the new Pennsylvania House district map passed by the Reapportionment Commission.

"About a half hour before the vote — what's being referred to as the 'stealth plan' — a map that no one had ever seen before on the Democratic side, that came out of nowhere was quickly voted on, on a party line vote," said White.

The new map sends the 45th District, currently held by Democrat Nick Kotic of Robinson, to Chester County. House Majority Leader Mike Turzai said, "The new 45th District will include 10 municipalities that have more registered Democrats than Republicans by about 6,000 voters."

White's 46th District shifts from a Washington, Allegheny, Beaver County district, to a Washington-Allegheny district that includes new portions of both counties. White said that he and Kotic are friends, and they realize that they're "victims of the same process, and will handle it in the most professional way possible."

He says that as far as they can tell, this configuration of combining two districts held by colleagues has never happened in the 50 years since the new redistricting process began.

"Typically during reapportionment, when seats have to be lost, it's usually done to accommodate retiring members or things of that nature. So this would definitely be a unique set of circumstances," explained White.

White does not plan to challenge the new map. Challenges to the final redistricting maps must be filed with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court by January 12.