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New Congressional Map Spurs More Would-Be Candidates

Matt Rourke
Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale of York, Pa. in 2013. DePasquale says he's considering a run for Congress in 2018.

 A new court-ordered map of congressional districts in Pennsylvania is spurring more would-be candidates to consider whether — and where — to run.

The Republican candidate in March 13's special election for a vacant U.S. House seat in southwestern Pennsylvania said he might seek a full term in a similar district under the new court-ordered congressional map, even though he doesn't live in it.

Meanwhile, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said he is considering running for Congress, and the field for a Montgomery County-based district is getting crowded.

Candidates can start filing petitions Tuesday to run in the May 15 primary, but the boundaries of Pennsylvania's congressional districts are in doubt after the state Supreme Court threw out a 6-year-old map as unconstitutionally gerrymandered to help Republicans.

Rick Saccone told the Washington Observer-Reporter that he is inclined to run in the new 14th District, if the boundaries drawn by the state Supreme Court are not blocked in federal court challenges filed by Republicans.

That district does not include Saccone's home in Allegheny County. Instead, Saccone's home was drawn into a heavily Democratic district that includes Pittsburgh and the home of 12-term Democratic Rep. Mike Doyle.

Saccone is facing Democrat Conor Lamb in the special election, which is taking place under the old map's boundaries. The court drew Lamb's Mount Lebanon house into a new 17th District with three-term Republican Rep. Keith Rothfus. Lamb has only said that he would run for a full term in Congress after the special election, but he did not say in which district he would run.

Saccone and Lamb are competing to fill the remainder of former U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy's term.

Murphy, a prominent opponent of abortion rights, resigned in October, after the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette obtained text messages in which he suggested a woman with whom he was having an extramarital affair get an abortion when they thought she might be pregnant.

In Montgomery County, three people say they will seek the Democratic nomination in the new 4th District under the state Supreme Court's map. They include state Reps. Madeleine Dean and Mary Jo Daley and Shira Goodman, the executive director of CeaseFirePA. There is no incumbent member of Congress living in the district.

DePasquale, a Democrat who is in his second term in the statewide office, said he is considering running in a newly created 10th District that includes Harrisburg and York. Living in that district is three-term Republican Rep. Scott Perry.

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