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Centre County No Longer Split In New Pennsylvania Congressional Map

Centre County will no longer be split into two congressional districts following the approval of a new congressional map by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Wednesday.

The court voted 4-3 to select the 17-district map after the Republican-controlled General Assembly and Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf deadlocked on how to apportion commonwealth’s seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Centre County is now entirely within the 15th District, currently represented by Rep. Glenn Thompson. Since 2018, the county had been split into the 15th and the 12th districts. The 15th covered the majority of the county’s land area, while the 12th, currently represented by Rep. Fred Keller, covered the southeastern part of the county, including State College and the Penns Valley Area.

Thompson announced on Wednesday that he will seek a seventh term in office in the new 15th District, while Keller said he will run in the new 9th District.

With Pennsylvania losing a congressional seat following the 2020 census, the new 15th District drew Republicans Thompson and Keller into the same sprawling district of north-central counties, including Centre, Armstrong, Cameron, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Elk, Forest, Jefferson, McKean, Potter, Snyder, Tioga, Union, Warren, and parts of Indiana, Lycoming, and Venango.

Thompson on Wednesday announced that he will run for reelection in the new 15th District. Prior to 2018, Thompson had represented all of Centre County in the former 5th District since he first took office in 2009.

“I look forward to meeting the hardworking families, farmers, small business owners, and veterans in the counties that were added to PA-15,” Thompson said in a statement. “In many instances, this will be a reunion, because I have previously represented many of these counties during my time in Congress.”

Thompson, who resides in Howard Township, said he will continue supporting those constituents moving out of the 15th district.

“While I am deeply disappointed the court-drawn map excludes a few counties and communities that I currently represent, those individuals know they will always have my support,” Thompson said in a statement. “I am also fully committed to delivering results for every community in PA-15 and continuing with top-notch constituent services our residents deserve.”

No other candidates have yet announced campaigns for the 15th District seat.

Keller, meanwhile, said that he will instead run in the new 9th District, where it appears he will challenge fellow Republican and incumbent Rep. Dan Meuser.

The 9th District includes Bradford, Columbia, Lebanon, Montour, Northumberland, Schuylkill, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Wyoming, and parts of Berks, Luzerne, and Lycoming counties.

The announcement from Keller’s campaign noted that the new 9th District retains most of the population of the old 12th District and that he has close ties to many of its counties.

“I look forward to continuing the work our team has accomplished and building on relationships I’ve fostered across the new district, where my family roots run deep,” Keller said. “As the people who know me best will attest, no one will show up and fight harder for central and northeast Pennsylvania.”

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About the Author

Geoff Rushton (StateCollege.com)

Geoff Rushton is managing editor for StateCollege.com. Contact him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter at @geoffrushton.

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