Redistricting Update: Congressional Maps

On Wednesday, February 23rd, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court took the power away from the legislature, once again, in the design of the commonwealth’s congressional districts. 

As a reminder from our last update, the map that was proposed to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court by Republicans, which was independently selected by a justice of the Commonwealth Court and passed through the General Assembly, has once again been ignored.

The high Court, of which the majority is the Democratic Party (5D-2R), ruled 4-3 in favor of a map that was proposed by Democratic party aligned voters that sued last year for judicial intervention. The map that the court selected instead has eight Republican-leaning districts, six Democrat-leaning districts, and three toss-up districts.

Unfortunately, Pennsylvania did lose a seat in this last census and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has drawn Congressman Fred Keller (PA-12) into the same district as Congressman Dan Meuser (PA-15) which will now be known as PA-9. Creating a Republican versus Republican scenario where the district is +41% GOP leaning is a massive loss for Republicans in the middle of the state.

However, Congressman Fred Keller announced on Monday, February 28th, that he will not seek re-election against his fellow colleague and incumbent, Congressman Meuser. “With control of Congress – and the direction of our nation – at stake, this election is bigger than any one person. Rather than pit Republicans against Republicans, which the congressional map chosen by the liberal Pennsylvania Supreme Court does, I am committed to helping take back the House, holding Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate seat, and electing a conservative Governor.”

Congressman Keller went on, rightly criticizing the high court’s ruling by saying, “The liberal Pennsylvania Supreme Court did the Commonwealth a great injustice when it once again overstepped its authority and selected a partisan map favoring Democrats. Make no mistake, this map – submitted by a national Democrat group – intends to diminish the voices of conservative voters in central and northeast Pennsylvania.”

PA Congressional Races:

The primary election for Pennsylvania will stand as previously scheduled on May 14th, with candidates already circling petitions to be on the ballot in their respective new districts.

PA-1: Southeast

On the Republican side, it should be no surprise that incumbent Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick is running again to represent his area. However, he may face some primary challenges as Caroline Avery, Alex Entin, Bradley Lanning, and Dasha Pruett are seeking to be on the Republican ballot for May 14th.

When it comes to the Democratic side of the race, the field is narrow as of right now with only two announced candidates running. These candidates are Ashley Ehasz and Paul Fermo. It should also be noted that a Green Party candidate has entered the race, as well.

PA-2: Philadelphia

District two has been a Democratic stronghold for decades. The seat has been held by Congressman Brendan Boyle. However, this time around, he is seeing some challenges from within his own party from the likes of Gilberto Gonzalez and Salem Snow.

As of right now on the Republican side of the ballot, the lone challenger is Albert Robles.

PA-3: Philadelphia

District three lies within the heart of Philadelphia. Therefore, it is no surprise that a Republican has not yet announced their candidacy for the seat. This is often an uncontested district.

However, Congressman Dwight Evans is the current holder of this seat, but has not submitted his name to the ballot. He is expected to run alongside a few challengers in Michael Cogbill, Alexandra Hunt, and Austin Rodill.

PA-4: Montgomery County

The fourth district is interesting thus far with only one Democrat, Republican, and Libertarian candidate running for the seat.

Of course, incumbent Congresswoman Madeline Dean will run again along with Republican challenger Christian Nascimento. In addition, Libertarian candidate Juriss Kallatar is seeking a spot on the ballot.

PA-5: Delaware County & Philadelphia

District five also is within the confines of Philadelphia and Delaware county, creating another Democratic stronghold for incumbent Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon. However, she is facing a primary challenge by Louis Lanni.

In a strong-Democratic house seat, there are three Republicans running and they are: David Galluch, Alfe Goodwich, and John Hayes. They also face the possibility of losing votes to a libertarian candidate, Robert Margus.

PA-6: Southeast

This district is Chester County and parts of southern Berks County. Incumbent Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan remains the only Democrat to be in the running for this seat thus far.

The GOP sees an opportunity for success in what should be a competitive contest. Announced candidates are: former GOP Gubernatorial candidate Guy Ciarrocchi, Steve Fanelli, Robert Kennedy, Regina Mauro, and Ron Vogel.

PA-7: Lehigh Valley

In the new maps, Incumbent Congresswoman Susan Wild is in danger of losing her seat as national pundits label it as being a toss-up or a slight Republican advantage by +4%. She also faces a primary challenge from the likes of Tuong Tran.

Republicans are looking to take away Wild’s seat with Kevin Dellicker and Lisa Scheller running in the primary on May 14th.

PA-8: Northeast

Since the new maps were drawn, incumbent Congressman Matthew Cartwright was drawn into a new district that is less than favorable. In addition, Carwright faces a primary challenge from Jon Lanzaro-Fisher in a new district which polling marks as Republican performance +8%.

The lone candidate for the Republicans is Jim Bognet. In the 2020 election, Bognet only lost by a close 13,000 votes.

PA-9: Northeast

After the maps were announced, it was district nine that made headlines as it seemed that the district would pit two incumbent Republicans against one another for the House seat. However, incumbent Congressman Fred Keller has decided not to run against fellow incumbent Congressman Dan Meuser. The district is a clear win for Republicans in both registration and performance. No Democratic candidates have yet sought the nomination.

PA-10: York, Cumberland, Dauphin Counties

Scott Perry, a Republican, is the incumbent for this district and currently, there are no officially announced Democratic challengers. However, the candidate that ran unsuccessfully against Congressman Perry in the last election, former Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said he will not seek the nomination. There is one primary challenge for Perry and that is Brian Allen.

PA-11: Lancaster, York Counties

Lloyd Smucker is the incumbent for this district and is circling petitions. Currently, the only other candidate running on the Democratic side is Robert Hollister.

PA-12: Pittsburgh

Incumbent Congressman Mike Doyle is expected to retire at the end of his term, leaving the door wide open for his Democratic counterparts. Jerry Dickinson, Stephanie Fox Steve Irwin, Summer Lee, and Bhavini Patel will be running for this open seat. As of right now, there are no Republicans on the ballot.

PA-13: South Central

District thirteen is the south-central part of Pennsylvania, and this heavily republican favored district is expected to be won by Incumbent Congressman John Joyce. There are no other announced candidates from either party.

PA-14: Southwest

The fourteenth district is also heavily favored by Republicans and is currently represented by incumbent Congressman Guy Reschenthaler. There are currently no candidates registered to run.

PA-15: North Central

District fifteen is another district with overwhelming Republican support. Incumbent Congressman Glenn Thompson is expected to run for re-election and win this seat. At this time however, there are no officially declared candidates on the ballot.

PA-16: Northwest

District sixteen represents the northwest area of Pennsylvania. Mike Kelly has incumbent advantage and sits well in a Republican area. Currently, Congressman Kelly has no primary challenges.

However, there are three democrats trying to win the nomination and unseat Kelly. These candidates are: Dan Pastore, Rob Sandera, and Rick Telesz.

PA-17: Pittsburgh, Beaver County

Conor Lamb is the current holder of this seat, and he has since declared his candidacy for the open U.S. Senate seat, leaving this race wide open for both sides. There will be a national focus on this race.

On the Democratic side, there are three candidates trying to fill Lamb’s seat. They are: Christopher Deluzio, Sean Meloy, and William Murray.

The Republican side is widespread with five different candidates vying for the nomination. They are: Dean Cavaretta, Jason Killmeyer, Jeremy Shaffer, Tricia Staible and James Tomshay.

The Future:

Candidates will be added and dropped from the race as we near closer to May 14th. Please stay tuned to the Pennsylvania Prosperity Project for updates on the 2022 election.