Pa. auditor general won’t run for Congress
Eugene DePasquale's decision leaves a Democratic field for the 10th that is largely devoid of high-profile candidates.
Pennsylvania’s congressional races are encountering a lot of upheaval in the wake of the state Supreme Court redrawing the map that it declared unconstitutional.
The new map has drastically shifted district boundaries, rendering several parts of the state much more competitive for Democrats.
That left a lot of state politicians hastily considering — or reconsidering — launching congressional bids.
Auditor General Eugene DePasquale was one of them.
One noteworthy change in the court-drawn congressional map is that it now includes a true capital district — the 10th — a Democratic-leaning area that encompasses York City and Harrisburg.
Its incumbent is GOP Congressman Scott Perry, who had a much more conservative district — the 4th — under the old map.
DePasquale, a second-term Democrat, also lives in the new 10th District. And he said in the week since the maps were redrawn, he has had people stopping him on the street to tell him to run.
“When that many people ask you to consider something, I think — the short answer is, yes, of course I considered it,” he told reporters.
Ultimately, he decided to stick with his current job.
“I did promise in 2016 that, if I was elected, I would serve a full term,” he said. “And I’m going to keep that promise.
“Everything I would do for the next nine months — instead of being viewed as how it’s going to make Pennsylvania better — would be viewed through the political lens,” he said. “And so I think it would take away nine months of critical work.”
That leaves a Democratic field for the 10th that is largely devoid of high-profile candidates.
Longtime Harrisburg activist Gene Stilp is one of the hopefuls.
He had urged DePasquale to run, and he still maintains the auditor would have been the best choice.
But, at this point, Stilp said his main goal is beating Perry.
The new map is slated to take effect in time for the May 15 primary, and the Wolf administration reports it is already working to get ready for the shift.
Republicans, meanwhile, are doing everything in their power to keep the districts from changing.
They have filed lawsuits in the U.S. Supreme Court and a lower federal court in hopes of staying the state court’s decision.
Neither court has issued a verdict yet.
WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.