Thursday, November 3, 2011

Redistricting Watch: Schwartz v. Fattah?

From: Politics PA

Republicans are tinkering with the idea of merging the Philadelphia-area districts of Reps. Chaka Fattah and Allyson Schwartz says a legislative source close to the redistricting process. Their motive: to make life more difficult for Schwartz.

The idea is gaining momentum among Republicans, who view Schwartz’s involvement in regional politics as a problem. Schwartz is charged with recruiting challengers for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee – with an emphasis on SEPA. A prolific fundraiser, she habitually contributes hundreds of thousands of dollars to the DCCC.

The GOP is also wary of a possible run by Schwartz for statewide office.

The new district would move Schwartz’s base in the white-collar, liberal white suburbs of Philadelphia into Fattah’s district. The final product would majority African American and favor the Congressman.

The GOP would carve a new district out of the suburbs, based in Montgomery County. It’s a possible boon to GOP members of congress in southeast PA, who all trying to shed Democrats and acquire as many Republican votes as possible in the new map. The source admitted that even ambitious versions of the new district would lean Democratic.

Republicans should temper their excitement, however. The idea has been floated before; PoliticsPA reported it as a rumor in March. At the time, sources close to Schwartz said the Congresswoman would simply move to the newly created district where she would be a heavy favorite in a primary election and a general.

Schwartz’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

Given his relative popularity and statutory requirements about the distribution of minority voters, Fattah will likely be no worse for the wear in any scenario.

“As you know, Democrats have no say in the process and rather than respond to the numerous rumors we’ll wait for the dust to settle and look forward to presenting the record to the voters once the lines are drawn,” said Maisha Leek, Fattah’s Chief of Staff.

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