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Shuster could 'lose' Franklin County when districts are redrawn

Legislative districts in southcentral Pa. could change dramatically, Alloway says

November 08, 2011|By JENNIFER FITCH | waynesboro@herald-mail.com
  • U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., addresses the Tuscarora Chamber of Commerce in Mercersburg, Pa., on Tuesday.
By Jennifer Fitch, Staff Writer

MERCERSBURG, Pa. — Boundaries for Pennsylvania legislative and congressional districts could change dramatically in Franklin County in early 2012, lawmakers told Tuscarora Chamber of Commerce members Tuesday morning.

U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., said he expects potentially significant changes to the 9th Congressional District's lines because of redistricting.

The congressman told chamber members attending a breakfast meeting he wants to keep Franklin County in the 9th District because he feels his views align with those of voters. He won 64 percent of Franklin County's vote in 2006 when he had a Democratic challenger.

"My No. 1 priority is to keep Franklin County whole," Shuster said.

Franklin County would be the largest county in the 9th  District, a spokesman for his office said after the breakfast.

State Sen. Richard Alloway, R-Franklin/Adams/York, said population growth in his 33rd District is driving changes to Southcentral Pennsylvania's legislative boundaries.

"I'd lose Fannett-Metal School District, Tuscarora School District and Greencastle-Antrim School District, basically the southern part of the county," Alloway said.

Regardless of how physical boundaries could change, Alloway said he'd continue to address southern Franklin County's needs in the state capital.

"I'm from Franklin County," Alloway said. "I'm still going to represent all of Franklin County."

Franklin County was the fourth fastest-growing county in the state between 2000 and 2010, according to U.S. Census data released in March.

Redistricting needs to be settled by Jan. 24 when potential candidates can start circulating petitions in the 2012 election cycle, according to Alloway.

Proposed redistricting maps for state legislators can be found at www.redistricting.state.pa.us. Shuster said he expects congressional maps to be released in late November.

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