Jan. 13, 2022

In case you missed it, the Bucks County Courier-Times published an Editorial this morning that panned the preliminary state House map, approved by three commissioners on the Legislative Reapportionment Commission, for its lack of competitiveness in Bucks County and across the state.

While you can read the full Editorial HERE, below are some key excerpts:

The commission that's drafted the Pennsylvania House of Representatives' new legislative districts has done Bucks County voters a grave disservice…Its proposed map reduces the number of competitive legislative districts here from seven to just two out of 10, according to an analysis we trust.

This is deep purple Bucks, with 203,000 Democrats,193,000 Republicans and a well-earned reputation for split tickets. There's no way seven of its 10 legislative districts ought to be unwinnable for one political party or the other. That's not reflective of our community.

Supported by the five-member commission's two Democrats and its chairman — former University of Pittsburgh chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg — the map effectively takes the power to choose state representatives away from the 80% Bucks Countians who'd be living in uncompetitive districts. It would then hand that power it to the majority party's primary voters or, worse, the county political committees that decide which candidates to back financially and which ones to discourage from opposing their choice in a primary election.

Through a political process known as gerrymandering, whichever party holds the most sway on the commission can create safe seats by shifting district boundary lines in a way that blunts the opposition party's power by diffusing it among several different districts.

When you remove a legislative district's competitiveness you remove the political upside of reaching across the aisle to build consensus around popular, moderate proposals. Instead it becomes more politically advantageous "to play to the base" when the biggest threat to a representative's re-election comes from within his or her own party. That's a recipe for more division and more extremism.  

Again, the full Editorial can be read HERE.

House Republican Caucus
Pennsylvania House of Representatives