It’s another big election year in Pennsylvania and candidates are lining up. The open governor’s office and U.S. Senate seat are popular choices. Currently, there are over a dozen Republicans seeking the governor’s office. Josh Shapiro, the Attorney General, is the lone Democrat vying for the seat. For U.S. Senate, there are 13 Republicans and 14 Democrats running. It’s still too early for “drop-outs,” so ABC will keep members aware of who’s in and who’s out as we draw closer to the May 17 primary. In addition, 17 congressional seats, 203 state House seats, and 25 state Senate seats are up for grabs.
Let’s start with what we affectionately call “re-districting.” Every decade, states go through a process of their own choosing to re-draw state and federal legislative districts. Because Pennsylvania is losing population, the Commonwealth’s congressional delegation will shrink from 18 to 17 congresspersons. This means legislative leaders will have to merge two seats. No easy task. A few weeks ago, preliminary maps were released by the House. The maps must go through the entire legislative process, and the governor must sign-off unless there are votes for an override. There could be legal challenges depending on the outcome of the legislative process and how contentious the talks will be. Regardless, the timeline is extremely tight, as session days are short, and candidates begin circulating petitions in mid-February. If you are interested in reviewing or commenting on the congressional maps, you can go to www.paredistricting.com.