Rafferty Among Winners In State Senate Redistricting

Sen. John Rafferty (center)

HARRISBURG PA – John Rafferty, whose 44th state Senate District currently includes the boroughs of Pottstown and Royersford, is likely to be among the beneficiaries of a proposal to realign Senate districts in the aftermath of last year’s U.S. Census, The Pennsylvania Independent online news service reported Monday (Oct. 31, 2011).

Because adjacent Berks County grew by 10 percent during the last decade, and Chester County by 15 percent, western Pennsylvania will lose House and Senate seats and territory, and the southeast will gain them under redistricting plans introduced Monday by the state Legislative Reapportionment Commission. The commission has the final say on the state Senate and House maps, with no approval required by the General Assembly or Gov. Tom Corbett.

The state Supreme Court can hear challenges to the final maps, however.

Chester County will be divided among four — not six — state Senate districts after two were adjusted to keep them outside the county. Now, in addition to Sen. Andrew Dinniman, the county’s only Democrat serving in the General Assembly, The Independent said Chester will also be represented by Rafferty and fellow Republican Sens. Dominic Pileggi and Edwin Erickson.

Berks County will be divided among Rafferty and state Sens. Dave Argall, R-Schuylkill; Bob Mensch, R-Montgomery; and Judy Schwank, D-Berks, it added.

The state legislative redistricting process is distinct from the congressional redistricting process, which also is ongoing in Harrisburg. The General Assembly and the governor must approve the new congressional districts, but no legislation has been introduced.