For more than 170 years, all of Bucks County has been part of one congressional district. The Bucks County Commissioners want it to stay that way.
Last week, amid preliminary political discussions in Harrisburg that Bucks could soon be divided among two congressional districts, the commissioners approved a resolution condemning the idea. To split the county “would divide our community, create administrative problems and violate fair redistricting principles,” the resolution said.
“I don’t think anybody in Bucks County wants to see (a split) happen - whether you’re a Democrat, Republican, Independent, or whatever party you belong to,” said Republican County Commissioner Gene DiGirolamo.
The U.S Census Bureau earlier this year released its decennial congressional apportionment counts based on data from the 2020 census. Pennsylvania is one of seven states that will lose a seat, starting with the 2022 midterms. Six states will gain one congressional seat, while Texas will gain two.
PHOTO: A map showing Pennsylvania's congressional districts as redrawn in 2018.
“We are going to forward the resolution to our state House and Senate delegation,” DiGirolamo said. “I think it’s important to let lawmakers know that we want Bucks County to stay whole as one district.”
Bucks’ 54 municipalities and a slice of Montgomery County currently make up Pennsylvania’s First Congressional District, which is represented by Republican Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick. Statewide, the 18 congressional seats – nine held by Republicans and nine by Democrats – soon will be cut to 17.
In 2020, the First District constituents voted for Fitzpatrick, but also favored Democrat Joe Biden for president.
“We want to keep Bucks County intact,” said Commissioner Bob Harvie, a Democrat. “We know that there are other counties that are chopped up into pieces, but it would certainly make the job of elected officials, like ourselves, more difficult, and more complicated for voters.”
Congressional lines were last redrawn in 2018, when the state Supreme Court ruled that the map violated a state constitution prohibition on partisan gerrymandering. The ruling addressed a 2011 map approved under former Republican Governor Tom Corbett.
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