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New Map Of Pennsylvania Legislative Districts Approved

HARRISBURG (KDKA) - Pennsylvania has new districts for its state Senate and state House of Representatives.

As political editor Jon Delano explains, the Legislative Reapportionment Commission voted 4-to-1 Friday afternoon to finalize legislative districts in the commonwealth.

With the votes of chairman Mark Nordenberg, Senate Republican leader Kim Ward, Senate Democratic leader Jay Costa, and House Democratic leader Joanna McClinton, the Legislative Reapportionment Commission approved new legislative districts for the next ten years.

"There is no such thing as a perfect map. There is also no such thing as a perfect process," says Nordenberg.

On Friday, Nordenberg unveiled the final legislative map for the Senate and House. On the Senate side, there were few changes in this region with local Senate incumbents maintaining similar districts, winning support from both party leaders.

"My primary duty and obligation is to the Senate, and for that reason, I will vote in the affirmative," said Republican Ward.

"At the end of the day, the Senate map was the result of three-party negotiation between the Democratic and Republican caucuses as well as the commission and its staff," added Democrat Costa.

But House Republican Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff offered an alternative map for the House, saying his map was better for minority voters than the commission's map.

"Specifically, we have 5 minority majority Hispanic districts, which is one more than the final plan," said Benninghoff.

But House Democratic leader McClinton, the first African American woman on this Commission, disputed claims the final map hurt minorities.

"To me, to my caucus, it is very personally disrespectful," McClinton said.

Locally, many House districts are reconfigured, pitting eight local incumbents against each other, including Republican Lori Mizgorski of Shaler with Democrat Sara Innamorato of Lawrenceville, Republic Carrie Lewis DelRosso of Oakmont with Democrat Tony DeLuca of Penn Hills, Republican Park Wentling of Greenville versus Democrat Mark Longietti of Hermitage and Republican Bud Cook of Clover Hill with Democrat Pam Snyder of Jefferson.

The final map also creates two new districts with no incumbents – one in the North Hills and one in the Allegheny Valley.

Although both Senate and House maps are final, there is a 30-day period for anyone to challenge the maps in court. Everyone expects that to happen.

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