Governor’s Race: Former U.S. Congresswoman Melissa Hart told KDKA last week that she is joining the race for governor, making her the only female in a field of 12 declared Republican candidates. Hart represented part of Allegheny County in the state Senate for 10 years and served another six years in Congress. Meanwhile, state Sen. Dan Laughlin, R-Erie, has announced that he will forgo a run for governor and endorse Republican businessman and former Delaware County Councilman Dave White.
Up for Debate: The PA Chamber of Business and Industry, Broad and Liberty, Keystone Free Enterprise Fund, and GOP SuperPAC ProtectPA are co-sponsoring the first debate among Republican candidates for governor on Wed., Jan. 5, 2022, at Dickinson College, Carlisle. The debate will be broadcast statewide on PCN from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Political consultant Christopher Nicholas, Director of ProtectPA, said that all Republican candidates for governor will be invited to participate in this debate. PA Chamber President Gene Barr said that the debate will help to highlight the candidates’ views on issues affecting the state’s business community.
Drawing the Lines: House State Government Committee Chairman Rep. Seth Grove, R-York, said the committee has selected a Congressional redistricting map drawn by Lehigh County resident and former county commissioner, Amanda Holt, which was one of 19 verified statewide maps submitted to the committee through its online mapping tool. Grove said the map was selected because it was drawn without political influence; complies with constitutionally mandated criteria; satisfies equal population requirements; limits splits of townships, municipalities and other local subdivisions; and is comprised of districts that are compact and contiguous, all of which were highlighted as priorities by the majority of testifiers and residents throughout the committee’s extensive regional hearings and online public input process. Pennsylvania currently has 18 congressional districts, but based on 2020 Census data, the state will lose one seat. Under the new map, Lancaster County would remain undivided, but will move into a new district with Dauphin and Lebanon counties. York County, currently split into two districts, would be reunited in a new district with Adams County and most of Cumberland County, with the remaining portion of Cumberland joining a district with Franklin and Perry counties. An informational meeting was held Thursday, and a vote on the map is expected to occur today. Lawmakers and Gov. Tom Wolf must agree on a map soon, or it could be decided by the State Supreme Court. Candidates for the 2022 primary can begin filing paperwork on Feb. 15, 2022.