State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Katie Meyer covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.
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After serious consideration, Auditor General won't run for Congress

Written by Katie Meyer, Capitol Bureau Chief | Feb 27, 2018 4:23 AM
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Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, a Democrat, is in his second term. He says he is sticking to his promise to remain in office. (Photo by AP)

 

(Harrisburg) -- Pennsylvania's congressional races are seeing a lot of upheaval in the wake of the state Supreme Court redrawing the map after declaring it unconstitutional.

The new map drastically shifts district boundaries, and renders several parts of the state much more competitive for Democrats.

That left a lot of state politicians feeling compelled to hastily consider -- or reconsider -- launching congressional bids.

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale was one of them.

One noteworthy change in the court-drawn congressional map is it includes a true capital district--the 10th--a Democratic-leaning area that encompasses both York City and Harrisburg.

Its incumbent is GOP Congressman Scott Perry, who has a much more conservative district -- the 4th -- under the old map.

DePasquale, a second-term Democrat, also lives in the new 10th District. He said in the week since the maps were redrawn, he has had people stopping him on the street to tell him to run.

"When that many people ask you to consider something, I think -- the short answer is -- yes, of course I considered it, he told reporters.

But ultimately, he decided to stick with his current job.

"I did promise in 2016 that if I was elected I would serve a full term, and I'm going to keep that promise," he said.

He added, "Everything I would do for the next nine months, instead of being viewed as how it's going to make Pennsylvania better, would be viewed through the political lens. And so I think it would take away nine months of critical work."

As of today, that leaves a Democratic field for the 10th that is largely devoid of high-profile candidates.

Longtime Harrisburg activist Gene Stilp is one of the hopefuls.

He had urged DePasquale to run, and still maintains the auditor would have been the best choice.

But at this point, Stilp said his main goal is beating Perry.

The new map is slated to take effect in time for the May 15th primary, and the Wolf administration reports it is already working to get ready for the shift.

But Republicans, meanwhile, are doing everything in their power to keep the districts from changing.

They have filed lawsuits in both the U.S. Supreme Court and a lower federal court in hopes of getting the state court's decision stayed.

Neither court has issued a verdict yet. 

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