Northeast Times

Redistricting carves up O’Brien’s territory

State Sen. Tina Tartagli­one looks like one of the win­ners in le­gis­lat­ive re­dis­trict­ing, while most loc­al House mem­bers be­lieve the fi­nal plan is an im­prove­ment on the pre­lim­in­ary one.

The pre­lim­in­ary plan was re­leased on Hal­loween and, after more than six weeks of dis­cus­sion, was ap­proved on Dec. 12 by the Le­gis­lat­ive Re­ap­por­tion­ment Com­mis­sion.

The vote was 4-1, with Sen­ate Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Domin­ic Pi­leggi, House Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Mike Turzai, House Minor­ity Lead­er Frank Dermody and re­tired state Su­per­i­or Court Judge Steph­en McEwen ap­prov­ing the map. Sen­ate Minor­ity Lead­er Jay Costa voted against it.

Any in­di­vidu­al can ap­peal to the Pennsylvania Su­preme Court by Jan. 11.

When the pre­lim­in­ary plan was an­nounced, there was little change to the dis­tricts of Sens. Tartagli­one (D-2nd dist.), Shir­ley Kit­chen (D-3rd dist.) and Mike Stack (D-5th dist.). However, the fi­nal plan moves 11 di­vi­sions in the 63rd Ward from Kit­chen to Tartagli­one. Also, Tartagli­one takes six di­vi­sions from Stack in the 64th Ward.

All three loc­al sen­at­ors are in staunchly Demo­crat­ic dis­tricts and likely would face pos­sible de­feat only in a primary elec­tion. Tartagli­one’s dis­trict in­cludes war­ring fac­tions in Kens­ing­ton, but her new di­vi­sions in Holmes­burg, May­fair, Fox Chase and Bustleton make her stronger.

Each Sen­ate dis­trict con­sists of about 250,000 res­id­ents.

In the House of Rep­res­ent­at­ives, dis­tricts con­sist of a little more than 60,000 res­id­ents.

Two sub­urb­an-based law­makers will con­tin­ue to rep­res­ent small por­tions of the North­east.

Rep. Tom Murt (R-152nd dist.) has eight di­vi­sions in Bustleton.

Rep. Larry Curry (D-154th dist.) has three di­vi­sions in Lawndale.

The dis­trict of Rep. Den­nis O’Bri­en (R-169th dist.) has, as ex­pec­ted, been moved to York County, fol­low­ing his elec­tion to City Coun­cil.

O’Bri­en’s di­vi­sions were ab­sorbed by Reps. Brendan Boyle (D-170th dist.), his broth­er Kev­in Boyle (D-172nd dist.), Mike McGee­han (D-173rd dist.), John Sabat­ina Jr. (D-174th dist.) and John Taylor (R-177th dist).

Kev­in Boyle re­gained some of the May­fair di­vi­sions he lost in the pre­lim­in­ary plan. His dis­trict of­fice at 7518 Frank­ford Ave. will now be loc­ated with­in Taylor’s dis­trict, but he’ll keep the same of­fice.

The 172nd dis­trict was craf­ted by former Rep. John Perzel to ba­sic­ally link May­fair to Fox Chase. The new 172nd now in­cludes Rockledge, Mont­gomery County.

Sabat­ina’s dis­trict, un­der the pre­lim­in­ary plan, lost all 22 di­vi­sions in the Castor Gar­dens-based 54th Ward, but the fi­nal plan gives him eight di­vi­sions. He lost his six di­vi­sions in the 63rd Ward. He saw in­creases in di­vi­sions in the 57th and 64th wards.

He isn’t totally happy with the plan.

“I would like to have a united Bustleton,” he said, ex­plain­ing that he wanted his dis­trict to ex­tend from Grant Av­en­ue north to Red Li­on Road.

Taylor usu­ally wins hand­ily, but the Ju­ni­ata por­tion of his dis­trict has be­come heav­ily Demo­crat­ic over the last 10 years.

The new dis­trict main­tains his strong­holds in Port Rich­mond and Brides­burg and also in­cludes his home area of North­wood, a little bit of Frank­ford and Wissi­nom­ing, West May­fair, Holmes­burg and Holme Circle.

The pre­lim­in­ary plan gave Rep. Mark Co­hen (D-202nd dist.) por­tions of the 64th and 65th wards in May­fair and Holmes­burg. They’ve been taken away and re­placed, in part, by di­vi­sions in Ta­cony, Wissi­nom­ing and Lower May­fair in the 55th Ward.

Rep. Tony Payton (D-179th dist.), who teamed with the Boyle broth­ers to draw the North­east bound­ar­ies, will rep­res­ent a dis­trict with large chunks of Frank­ford, North­wood, Ox­ford Circle, Wissi­nom­ing and Castor Gar­dens.

Rep. Dwight Evans (D-203rd dist.) will rep­res­ent por­tions of Lawndale, Cres­centville and Ox­ford Circle. ••

Re­port­er Tom War­ing can be reached at 215-354-3034 or twar­ing@bsmphilly.com

You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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