by Pete Mazzaccaro
A court-ordered redistricting plan has dramatically changed the landscape for the state’s 18 U.S. Congressional Districts. Those changes are significant in Northwest Philadelphia and even more so in neighboring Montgomery County.
In the half of Philadelphia west of Broad Street, former residents of Pennsylvania’s 2nd District are now in the 3rd. That new district does not include a swath of Main Line communities between City Line Avenue and Conshohocken.
Those communities are in a newly drawn 4th District that encompasses much of Montgomery County, which had been the epicenter of gerrymandering in prior maps having been divided into four different districts, without a single one of its representatives living in the county.
While many running for various Congressional seats are now left to consider in what district they will now run, the new 3rd will be a favorite for current 2nd District Congressman Dwight Evans, who lives in the new 3rd. Evans won the seat in 2016 after beating longtime incumbent Chaka Fattah in the Democratic primary.
Fattah was indicted shortly after that primary and is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence.
By court order, the election is running on a new calendar that compresses the typical schedule a bit but still keeps to a Primary date of May 15. Under the new schedule, petitions can begin circulation on Feb. 28. Petitions and nomination papers must be filed on March 20.