PENNSYLVANIA (WHTM) — Republicans across Pennsylvania continue to complain about newly redrawn state House seats that they say are gerrymandered to favor Democrats. Local officials, who have no role in the process, are also voicing their displeasure.
East Pennsboro Township in Cumberland County has a lovely view of Harrisburg and is just across the river. But to elected officials, they are worlds apart. The newly drawn state house map would lump East Pennsboro, Camp Hill, Lemoyne, and Wormleysburg into the same district as the capital city.
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“There are differences between the two communities,” East Pennsboro Board of Commissioners President George Tyson said. “There’s absolutely no way that this is a good idea.”
Tyson and fellow East Penn Commissioners passed a resolution strongly objecting to the new district and noted this is one of the fastest-growing regions in the state. “Our representation in Cumberland County should be growing. It should not be declining,” Tyson said.
House Republicans across the state are crying foul. “It’s important that it’s fair, legal, and transparent, and this process this year has been anything but,” State Rep Rob Mercuri (R) said.
Mercuri represents the Pittsburgh suburbs and also says there are too many splits to the Steel City and too much love for the Democrats by Pennsylvania Legislative Reapportionment Commission Chairman Mark Nordenberg.
“The Nordenburg map is a drastic set of changes that again slices up come communities that previously were represented by one representative in one district,” Mercuri said.
“There is no such thing as a perfect map which means that, almost by definition, not everyone will end up being 100% satisfied with the final product,” Nordenberg said.
The commission is logging public comments — more than 1,500 so far — which may lead to tweaks in district boundaries. “It would stun me if there were not changes made to the preliminary maps before we make them final,” Noredenberg said.
Noredenberg couldn’t resist saying to the GOP, which is accusing him of map-making for Democrats, “They lean Republican, just not as Republican as they once did.”
The public comment period lasts for about two more weeks before maps are made final.