Under the redistricting plan given preliminary approval last week by a majority of reapportionment committee members, Orie’s territory would move to Monroe and Northampton counties on the eastern half of the state to reflect population growth near the New Jersey border.
Orie’s current territory encompasses parts of Allegheny County—including Pine, Richland and Ross townships—and Butler County, including Cranberry and Adams townships and Zelienople, Harmony, Seven Fields borough.
Whether her district is located on one side of the commonwealth or the other, it seems unlikely Orie will remain senator of it.
In March, Orie was convicted of using state-paid staff to do political work. If she does not resign, she will lose her seat when she is sentenced May 21. A replacement would be chosen by special election.
If the proposed redistricting plan is approved, three senators would split Orie’s former territory. Cranberry and Seven Fields would join most of Beaver and Lawrence counties in the 47th district represented by Sen. Elder Vogel, Jr., R-New Sewickley Township.
Sen. Mary Jo White, R-Franklin, would take over Adams, Harmony and Zelienople in the 21st senatorial district, which also would represent parts of Clarion, Forest, Venango and Warren counties under the proposed plan.
Pine, Richland, Ross and McCandless townships would be folded into the 37th district currently represented by Sen. John Pippy, R-Moon, who is not seeking re-election in 2012.
Republican candidates D. Raja, a Mt. Lebanon business owner who in November lost his bid to become Allegheny County executive, Bethel Park resident Sue Means and state Rep. Mark Mustio, R-Moon, have all filed to succeed Pippy. No Democrats have entered the race.
The proposed redrawn map, however, would remove most of the South Hills, including Bethel Park, and Mt. Lebanon from the 37th District. Means has since cried foul at the redistricting proposal, claiming the boundaries were gerrymandered for political purposes.
Marshall also would take over Zelienople and Harmony boroughs and Jackson Township from Rep. Dick Stevenson, R-Grove City, in the 8th District.
The committee will vote on final approval for the proposed plan following a 30-day public review. In the meantime, an open hearing where the public can give comments on the plan will be held May 2 in Harrisburg.
What do you think? Are you upset Stevenson would no longer represent Zelienople, Harmony and Jackson under the proposed plan? What do you think of moving the 40th district to the other side of the state? Leave your opinion in the comments section.