Lawmakers are moving to Pennsylvania with unfamiliar maps News

HARISBURG – Two months have passed since the end of the decade-long controversial process of restructuring Pennsylvania’s legislatures, and now several hundred candidates hoping to change or succeed the state’s lawmakers are rushing headlong into the main section of the primary. choose their number.

State Legislative District Commission has produced a map that reflects dramatic demographic change and gives Democrats hope that they will be able to gain seats in the General Assembly, which has been controlled by a majority of Republicans for almost all of the past three decades.

For many incumbents, change requires them to introduce themselves – and sell themselves – to thousands of potential new voters.

Voters in the primary election on May 17 will have candidates for all 203 seats in the House of Representatives and 25 of the 50 seats in the Senate.

In the House of Representatives, 32 members are not seeking re-election, including several candidates for the Senate or other positions.

Five seats in the Senate held by members of the Republican Assembly are open due to retirement.

More than 60 state officials and four senators are not facing opposition in the primary or general election, so they have in fact already won another term just by qualifying to vote.

In the 24 constituencies of the House of Representatives and the two constituencies of the Senate, the incumbent president faces only a major problem, so even if they lose, their party will retain its seat.

In all, voters can expect a fall election between a Republican and a Democrat in about half of the House of Representatives and in 19 Senate constituencies.

The main contenders from the Republican Party have targeted some current veterans, including Speaker Brian Cutler of Lancaster County and appropriation chairman Stan Sailor of York County. No Democrat is running in either constituency.

In his primary race, Cutler defends how he coped with the defeat of former President Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election, funding for fetal tissue research and the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic – perhaps surprising for a Republican elected leader after years. a reliable vote by the Conservatives in Harrisburg.

Cutler said current voter sentiment in his rural district seems to be driven by a pandemic, and that he was trying to direct that discontent at the state governor from the Democratic Party and the Supreme Court from the Democratic majority.

“The electorate’s concern is very real in terms of frustration with the government,” Cutler said. “I just think we need to focus more on the real reasons.”

Three pairs of incumbent House Speakers are battling it after being involved in the constituency together.

In the countryside northwest of Harrisburg, Perry Stambo’s representative faces a Republican primaries against his neighbor in the north, Jonathan Hershey. And southwest of Allentown, the battle between spokesman Ryan Mackenzie and Gary Day sparked distrust among fellow Republicans.

Mackenzie, who served in the Republican Cacus with Day for ten years, posted a website that attacked Day as “greedy,” “soulless,” and not conservative enough about guns and taxes.

Philadelphia Democrats Isabella Fitzgerald and Chris Rabb are fighting each other along with a third Democrat. A Republican is also on the ballot.

In Allegheny County, recently sworn in MP Martel Covington has four opponents from the Democratic Party, his award for winning a snap election last month after Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey left the legislature.

“Personally, it was a unique challenge for me to try to take office and continue campaigning,” Covington said this week after attending two candidate forums. “It was definitely a balance. But it was exciting. “

The effects of the redistribution are evident in the suburbs of Harrisburg, where two seats in the House of Representatives held by Republicans will be handed over to Democrats later this month. Republicans Sue Helm and Andrew Lewis decided not to seek re-election after redrawn borders made their constituencies overwhelmingly democratic. Republicans have not nominated primary candidates in any race.

The redrawn lines drew four Democratic nominees from Harrisburg, Patti Kim, whose district is now on the banks of the Susquehanna River. There are two more Democrats in the primaries and a couple of Republicans are vying to run in the fall.

Four state officials guard their bets by seeking re-election while holding senior positions: Democratic Representative Summer Lee in Congress in Pittsburgh, Austin Davis as Lieutenant Governor and Malcolm Kenyatta in the U.S. Senate; and Republican Ras Diamond for the post of lieutenant governor.

Two other candidates for lieutenant governor, a representative of Carrie Lewis DelRasa, R-Allegheny, and a representative of Brian Sims, D-Philadelphia, are leaving their legislative seats.

In the state Senate, Democrats Christine Tartaglione of Philadelphia and Wayne Fontana of Allegheny, as well as Republicans Pat Stefan of Fayette and Camera Bartalotta in Washington, are opposed to both the primary and general elections.

There are five Senate constituencies without an incumbent. Republican Senators Tommy Tomlinson of the Bucks, Bob Mens of Montgomery, Jake Corman of the Center, and Mario Scavell of Monroe all decided not to run again, as did Republican lone Senator John Yudichak of Lucerne, who joined the Republicans.

Corman, the Senate’s highest-ranking leader and gubernatorial candidate, saw the Legislative Redistribution Commission relocate his county to the West Bank suburb of Harrisburg, where the population is growing. Yudichak decided not to run again after he was dragged into the county with Senator Lisa Baker, R. Lucerne, and his seat was moved to the Lehigh Valley.

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