Update on potential new state legislative district and who may be running

As MoreThanTheCurve.com reported, there is the possibility that a new state legislative district will be created consisting of the Municipality of Norristown, Borough of Conshohocken, and Plymouth Township. It would be named the 54th legislative district.

Norristown and a portion of Plymouth are currently part of the 70th legislative district (represented by Democrat Matt Bradford) and Conshohocken and the balance of Plymouth are part of the 148th legislative district (represented by Democrat Mary Jo Daley).

So while this district is not yet finalized, there are candidates preparing to run if it does go forward.

On the Democratic Party side, Rochelle Culbreath has launched a website and social media accounts. She is a former member of Norristown’s council (2000 to 2006) and was the first African-American woman to serve as its president. She currently works as the Manager of Legislative Affairs (State) for SEPTA. Culbreath has already announced that Montgomery County Commissioner Ken Lawrence (a Plymouth Township resident) has endorsed her candidacy.

Democratic Party-insiders also tell us that Magisterial Judge Greg Scott of Norristown, Plymouth Township Council President Chris Manero, and Mayor Yaniv Aronson of Conshohocken are or have considered running for this office.

On the Republican side, we could only find one candidate, Dan Wissert (website), who seems prepared to run against Bradford in the 70th, or in the new 54th district if it happens.

One Clarification on Recent Related Article

One thing we want to clear up. MoreThanTheCurve.com recently shared a column from State Representative Donna Bullock, chair of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus. She represents a district in Philadephia. From her column:

The newly drawn House District 54 in Norristown, Montgomery County, is a great example of a coalition district that will undo previous efforts to dilute the political power of Black and Latino Pennsylvanians. Over the years, maps have been drawn in a way that diluted the voice of the people of Norristown by combining them in a legislative district with very different suburban and rural communities in the western part of the county. This map, instead, puts Norristown in a district with communities with more commonalities in Conshohocken and Plymouth Township—and will have a racial minority population of nearly 45%.

The problem with Bullock’s column is that the percentages don’t really change. As you can see in the charts above, the changes to the percentage of each race within the current 70th district and the potential new 54th district all fall within less than a single percentage point.

Nothing really changes related to the percentages of races and we apologize to our readers for not verifying the numbers first.

So is this more about the Democratic Party protecting the current white state representative from a primary from a minority candidate?

We emailed Bullock for clarification but did not receive a response back.

Maps – Dave’s Redistricting