GOP leaders defend map to Pennsylvania governor

Written by Marc Levy and Mark Scolforo/The Associated Pres | Feb 13, 2018 11:48 AM

Gov. Tom Wolf speaks during an interview with The Associated Press at his office in Harrisburg, Pa., Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

(Harrisburg) -- Republican leaders in the Pennsylvania Legislature are calling Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf's letter rejecting their proposed congressional district map absurd.

Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati and House Speaker Mike Turzai wrote to Wolf Tuesday, hours after Wolf told the state Supreme Court he doesn't support their plan.

Scarnati and Turzai are refuting the governor's complaints that they've chosen to link the cities of Erie and Reading to Republican-friendly rural areas, and defending their decision to keep about 70 percent of state residents in their existing districts.

The Republican leaders say they'd like to see Wolf's proposed map, offering to put it up for a vote in the chambers they control.

The state Supreme Court has said to expect a new map in place by Monday, for use in the May primary.

An earlier story appears below. 

(Harrisburg) -- Democratic Governor Tom Wolf is rejecting a Republican-drawn map of Pennsylvania's congressional districts to replace the GOP-drawn map struck down in a gerrymandering case, leaving him to make a different recommendation to the state's high court.

Wolf's move today comes six days before the Democratic-majority state Supreme Court says it'll impose new boundaries for Pennsylvania's 18 congressional districts.

The governor says the Republicans' latest plan still contains unconstitutionally partisan tactics that favor Republicans.

Wolf hasn't released a proposed map, and justices could consider proposals from lawmakers and other parties to the gerrymandering case.

The court threw out Pennsylvania's GOP-drawn congressional map last month, saying it violated the state constitution.

A redrawn map of Pennsylvania districts could boost Democrats nationally in their quest to take control of the U.S. House.

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