In the wake of Tuesday’s special election in the 18th Congressional District, attention has quickly turned to the district that could soon replace the 18th – the 14th District.
Democrats Tom Prigg of McCandless, Adam Sedlock of Wharton, and Bob Solomon of Oakdale also plan to run.
That means, as a resident of Fayette County, Sedlock, a psychologist, is the only declared candidate who would actually live in the 14th. All of the other candidates live in Allegheny County, adjacent to the planned 14th.
Under the U.S. Constitution, representatives simply must reside in the same state as their constituents, not necessarily the same district.
Solomon points out he lives just miles from the new 14th. The emergency physician had been planning to challenge former GOP Congressman Tim Murphy in the previous 18th District.
“I feel a strong connection with the people of those counties, and I have a background in serving them as a physician,” Solomon said. “It feels natural to me to choose to run in a district where I’ve been campaigning.”
Prigg, also a Democrat, is coming from farther away. The brain researcher had been running in the old 12th District, which stretched from Beaver to Cambria and Somerset counties, before the state’s high court issued the new lines.
The Washington County native says he’s excited to return to the district where he grew up, but acknowledges that the quick switch has been challenging.
“Gathering signatures, starting and collecting in one district, where you’ve got a group, a pool of volunteers, and then basically restructuring and changing direction in an entirely different congressional district is very, very stressful,” Prigg said.
Prigg expects to gather the 1,000 signatures required to qualify for the congressional ballot by the March 20 deadline. He said he’s also gathered some signatures in his old district, just in case a federal court strikes down the new map.
The 14th would include all of Greene Fayette and Washington counties and much of Westmoreland county. It is considered favorable territory for the GOP.
*This post was updated at 8:47 a.m. on Friday, March 16, 2018, to reflect that Reschenthaler and Sedlock plan to run in the 14th District.