HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — WHTM is reporting… Governor Tom Wolf highlighted two redistricting maps as examples of new congressional district boundaries that are free of gerrymandering and are consistent with the redistricting principles of the Pennsylvania Redistricting Advisory Council on Saturday, Jan. 15. “Throughout the congressional redistricting process, I have publicly outlined the requirements for a fair map that I would consider signing,” Gov. Wolf said. “While the House Republican map does not comply with those basic principles, I am highlighting two maps that do.” Following the House’s passage of a congressional redistricting map this week that fails to meet the redistricting principles, the governor provided his own map and highlighted a citizen-created congressional redistricting map as an example of maps he would support to move the process forward.
The first map maintains a degree of continuity with the current congressional map while making changes to comply with both the U.S. and Pennsylvania constitutions. This map also aligns with the principles set by the advisory council as well as the public. The second map represents the voices of more than 7,200 Pennsylvanians who participated in mapping contests hosted by Draw the Lines over the past three years. It draws from over 1,500 map submissions to showcase values that were important to mappers. For weeks, the Governor said he wouldn’t get involved in the process, only outlining the criteria he was looking for.
HARRISBURG – PennLive is reporting… A straw poll of Republican leaders from across central Pennsylvania Saturday turned out to be very good news for two Philadelphia-area candidates in the race to succeed retiring U.S. Senator Pat Toomey. Jeff Bartos, the real estate developer who won the party’s nomination for lieutenant governor in 2018, won the Republican State Committee Central Caucus’s straw poll with 49 votes, while conservative activist Kathy Barnette finished in a strong second place with 30 votes. The only other Senate candidate to break double digits Saturday was David McCormick, a former hedge fund executive who is a relatively recent entry into the race, but has been flooding Pennsylvania’s airwaves with commercials aimed at boosting his name ID with months to go before the May primary. McCormick drew 15 votes in the poll.
Cumberland County native and former U.S. ambassador to Denmark Carla Sands drew eight votes; and three other candidates, George Bochetto, Dr. Mehmet Oz, and Martin Rosenfeld drew one vote apiece. The Central caucus – which also heard from the Republican candidates for Pennsylvania’s open seat governor and lieutenant governor’s race – marks a significant benchmark in the race because it was the first time a group of likely primary voters had the chance to hear from the full set of Senate candidates. And the audience here – made up of county party chairs and other Republican activists – also is the largest of the Republican State Committee’s five regional caucuses in terms of the Republican electorate. The 24 counties in the central caucus represent almost 1.1 million registered GOP voters, or 32 percent of the state total. Significantly, on a second question, the Central caucus members recommended against the state committee making an endorsement in the Senate race by a vote of 67 to 39.