ERIE, Pa. — It stems from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s ruling last month, which called the existing congressional districts gerrymandered and ordered a new map.
After the Gov. Tom Wolf rejected the proposed map, which Democrats argued was still unfair, the state Supreme Court released its own.
The new map replaces the current third and fifth districts.
The 16th district would entirely encompass Erie and Crawford counties and stretch south to Mercer, Lawrence and a portion of Butler counties. The 15th district would include the remainder of northwestern Pennsylvania (Clarion, Forest, Jefferson, Venango, Warren and the eastern portion of Butler counties) among other counties.
See a map with Erie County rejoined pleased Erie County Democratic Party chairman Bill Cole.
He said, “Democratic candidates who were hesitant to run, now seeing that the districts are drawn fairly–they’re going to run. So, that’s going to benefit us overall, because we’ll have more Democrats in Congress.”
Erie County Republican Party chairman Verel Salmon, Ph.D., said the new map has drawbacks.
“Specifically for Erie County, we’re a loser in that we had two representatives for Erie County; both of which were very responsive,” he said.
Republican U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-5th District, told YourErie.com:
“I am disappointed that the court has unilaterally acted to create new congressional district lines. Legislating should be left up to the general assembly. This move has caused a lot of confusion and uncertainty for voters as the May primaries approach and has thrown Pennsylvania into a constitutional crisis.”
Salmon said, “I’m just sad that the political system doesn’t work better, but I’m not surprised; because it’s a Democratic majority in the (Pennsylvania) Supreme Court..
Cole said the system is working as it should.
“This isn’t anything they’re doing in the wrong. This is according to our Constitution the way this is handled. So, that’s why it’s being done that way. And if they’re upset with it, they can appeal it; but they appealed before. They lost. They’ll lose again.”