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 firstname.lastname@example.org