Potential candidates await direction on Pa. redistricting

    It may be some time before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court explains how a legislative redistricting map should be fixed.

    Meanwhile, state House and Senate hopefuls remain in a holding pattern.

    Don O’Shell, York County’s clerk of courts, planned to run as a Republican for the Senate seat being vacated by Dauphin County Republican Jeff Piccola.

    But after the redistricting plan was voted down, O’Shell and others aren’t sure where the district lines will fall.

    Many General Assembly candidates are focusing their campaigns in regions where the old districts and the newly drawn districts overlap.

    But O’Shell says that doesn’t help him.

    ” ‘Cause I’m not in the overlap,” he said. “I’m totally in a new area and so I can’t go up to Dauphin County, for example, and circulate up there because I don’t reside in Dauphin County, I reside in York County.”

    Democrats say they’re operating under the assumption the old district lines still will hold for this year’s elections, while Republicans say that would be unconstitutional, because districts now vary in population.

    During the waiting game, Republican Rep. Mario Scavello said he’s collecting signatures for two seats at the same time –- one in his current House district and one in the newly created Monroe County Senate district.

    “I pretty much have my signatures that I need for both already.  Now it’s just pretty much waiting to see what actually, what the decision is,” he said.

    Sen. Jim Brewster, a Democrat, now represents the Allegheny County Senate district that would be moved under the rejected redistricting plan.

    He said justices should let the old maps from a decade ago stand for this year’s primary, while the GOP said that would disenfranchise voters in districts where the population has changed.

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