State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, of Millcreek, D-3rd Dist., could find himself in the middle of an interesting re-election bid in 2014.
State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro/File photo
He could be forced to run against fellow state lawmaker Greg Lucas, of Edinboro, R-5th Dist., in the wake of a court ruling that upholds a plan to remap both the state House and Senate districts starting with the 2014 elections.
I got reactions from both Bizzarro and Lucas the day that the court’s decision came out.
And like Lucas before him, Bizzarro has elaborated on the issue with a statement.
Here it is:
The news of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision to uphold redistricting plan seems to leave some confusion within our region.
Here in our office, we have been fielding many questions about what the new maps mean—and how it will affect residents’ voices in Harrisburg—and at home in Erie County.
It’s hard not to think of the decision as politicking prevailing over need—but regardless of the motive—now is the time to work together to ensure we’re in the best position for when the decision takes effect after the November 2014 election.
State reapportionment, along with congressional redistricting, is required every 10 years after the U.S Census to try to maintain equal representation based on population changes.
Our population loss is Berks County’s gain, or so that’s the way it was drawn. The 5th Legislative District now represented by my colleague and neighboring State Representative Greg Lucas will be moved eastward, and Erie County will have one less voice representing it in Harrisburg.
It’s easy for both Republicans and Democrats to criticize the redistricting plan. The process has been mired in politics, and the first redistricting plan, which also moved the 5th Legislative District to Berks County, was thrown out by the court because of its blatantly partisan design.
We need jobs. We need to rebuild a deteriorating economic infrastructure that has led to the population losses. We need effective leadership to respond to crises like the possible layoffs of nearly 1,000 local workers at the GE locomotive plant in Lawrence Park and the devastating effect this will have on other local manufacturing and freight companies.
We need to return the Erie region to its glory days. We must continue to grow together, doing all that we can to ensure our region thrives as an economic powerhouse.
But, beginning in the next election cycle, we’ll be doing it with one less voice in Harrisburg. That’s why I will make sure the needs of the third legislative district continue to be heard louder and clearer than ever, as I continue my first term.
I can’t help but note the irony of the situation. At a time when Erie needs strong, effective leadership the most, it is stripped of a member. It makes a tough climb just a bit steeper.
Rep. Lucas and I hold the region’s best interests at heart and share a commitment to work on its behalf. That won’t change with the redistricting decision.
You will be hearing more from me about the new districts in the coming months. But the most important thing to remember for now is that the new boundaries are not in effect until after the November 2014 election. I continue to keep your best interests in mind while I serve as your state representative.
I have no doubts that the region will not only endure but prosper in the long run. We have the resources, the skilled workers, the know-how and the heart to do this! If you have any questions or concerns about the new district maps, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our office. We’re located in the Peninsula Plaza at 1101 Peninsula Drive, Suite 209 in Millcreek Township—and our phone number is 814-835-2880.
We’re here to make sure you have the loudest voices possible—representing you here at home, and in Harrisburg.
– John Guerriero