Pennsylvania's 15th congressional district

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Pennsylvania's 15th congressional district
Pennsylvania Congressional District 15.png
Boundaries beginning January 3, 2019; below statistics, except PVI, apply to old boundaries
Representative
  Glenn Thompson
RHoward
Distribution
  • 87.30% urban
  • 12.70% rural
Population (2000)646,300
Median income45,330
Ethnicity
Cook PVIR+20[1]

Pennsylvania's 15th Congressional District has been located in western Pennsylvania since February 2018. The district includes all of Warren County, McKean County, Forest County, Venango County, Elk County, Cameron County, Clarlion County, Jefferson County, Armstrong County, Clearfield County, Indiana County, most of Centre County, and Cambria County, and parts of Butler County.

From 2013 to 2019, the district stretched from the suburbs east of Harrisburg to communities east of Allentown and the New Jersey border. Counties located in the district included all of Lehigh County and parts of Berks County, Dauphin County, Lebanon County, and Northampton County.

From 2003 to 2013 it comprised all of Northampton County, most of Lehigh County, and small parts of Berks and Montgomery counties. The district included the Lehigh Valley, Indian Valley and Upper Perkiomen Valley regions. In the mid-20th century, it included Tioga County.

Since the 21st century, it has a slight Democratic tilt in registered voters due to the presence of fairly large cities such as Allentown and Bethlehem, with industrial histories. The Democrats in the Lehigh Valley are generally considered more moderate than their counterparts in the Philadelphia area, particularly on social issues. The district has elected Republican candidates for all but six years since 1979. During 1999–2005, Pat Toomey represented the district. From 2005 to 2018, fellow Republican Charlie Dent represented the district; in September 2017 he announced he would be retiring and not seek re-election in 2018. Democrat Susan Wild won the special election.

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania redrew the district in February 2018 after ruling the previous map unconstitutional because it had gerrymandered too much on behalf of the Republican Party. In 2012 Democrats had won only five of the state’s 18 congressional districts, the year the previous redistricting by the legislature took effect, although they won the House statewide popular vote by 1.5 percentage points.[2]

In the redistricting, the old 15th district had its boundaries compressed around Allentown and became the 7th district, while the old 5th district had its boundaries adjusted and became the 15th district for the 2018 election and representation thereafter.[3] It has been represented by Glenn Thompson since January 3, 2019.

Politically important district[edit]

Before the 2018 court-ordered redistricting, the district consisted principally of Lehigh and Northampton counties. It was considered politically important nationally, since it was usually strongly contested, with neither Republicans nor Democrats being able to win the district consistently. Since at least the Second World War, the District's voters have chosen the presidential candidate who wins Pennsylvania (and until 2000, Pennsylvania chose the eventual national winner). In the 2004 election, both President George W. Bush and his Democratic challenger, John Kerry, visited the district with regularity in an effort to win its swing voters. The district gave 148,679 votes to Kerry, the victor, over 148,576 votes for Bush, a 103-vote margin of victory.

List of members representing the district[edit]

Representative Party Years Electoral history Location
District created in 1813
Vacant March 4, 1813 –
May 14, 1813
Representative-elect Abner Lacock was elected in 1812 but resigned February 24, 1813. [Data unknown/missing.]
Thomas Wilson Democratic-Republican May 14, 1813 –
March 3, 1817
Elected to finish Lacock's term.
Re-elected in 1814.
Retired.
Robert Moore Democratic-Republican March 4, 1817 –
March 3, 1821
Elected in 1816.
Retired.
Patrick Farrelly Democratic-Republican March 4, 1821 –
March 3, 1823
[Data unknown/missing.]
Redistricted to the 18th district.
Thomas Patterson Jacksonian Democratic-Republican March 4, 1823 –
March 3, 1825
Redistricted from the 12th district.
Lost renomination.
[Data unknown/missing.]
Joseph Lawrence Anti-Jacksonian March 4, 1825 –
March 3, 1829
[Data unknown/missing.]
Lost re-election.
William McCreery Jacksonian March 4, 1829 –
March 3, 1831
[Data unknown/missing.]
Lost re-election.
Thomas McKean Thompson McKennan.png
Thomas M. T. McKennan
Anti-Masonic March 4, 1831 –
March 3, 1833
[Data unknown/missing.]
Redistricted to the 21st district.
Andrew Beaumont Jacksonian March 4, 1833 –
March 3, 1837
[Data unknown/missing.]
Retired.
[Data unknown/missing.]
David Petrikin Democratic March 4, 1837 –
March 3, 1841
[Data unknown/missing.]
Benjamin A. Bidlack Democratic March 4, 1841 –
March 3, 1843
[Data unknown/missing.]
Redistricted to the 11th district.
Henry Nes Independent
Democratic
March 4, 1843 –
March 3, 1845
[Data unknown/missing.] [Data unknown/missing.]
Moses McClean Democratic March 4, 1845 –
March 3, 1847
[Data unknown/missing.]
Henry Nes Whig March 4, 1847 –
September 10, 1850
[Data unknown/missing.]
Died.
Vacant September 10, 1850 –
December 2, 1850
Joel B. Danner Democratic December 2, 1850 –
March 3, 1851
[Data unknown/missing.]
William H. Kurtz Democratic March 4, 1851 –
March 3, 1853
[Data unknown/missing.]
Redistricted to the 25th district.
James Gamble Democratic March 4, 1853 –
March 3, 1855
Redistricted from the 13th district.
[Data unknown/missing.]
[Data unknown/missing.]
John J. Pearce Opposition March 4, 1855 –
March 3, 1857
[Data unknown/missing.]
Retired.
AllisonWhite.jpg
Allison White
Democratic March 4, 1857 –
March 3, 1859
[Data unknown/missing.]
Lost re-election.
Hon. James T. Hale, Pa - NARA - 525352 (V2).jpg
James T. Hale
Republican March 4, 1859 –
March 3, 1863
[Data unknown/missing.]
Redistricted to the 18th district.
JosephBaileyPA.jpg
Joseph Bailey
Democratic March 4, 1863 –
March 3, 1865
Redistricted from the 16th district.
[Data unknown/missing.]
[Data unknown/missing.]
Adam John Glossbrenner.jpg
Adam J. Glossbrenner
Democratic March 4, 1865 –
March 3, 1869
[Data unknown/missing.]
Lost re-election.
Richard Jacobs Haldeman - Brady-Handy.jpg
Richard J. Haldeman
Democratic March 4, 1869 –
March 3, 1873
[Data unknown/missing.]
Retired.
John Alexander Magee - Brady-Handy.jpg
John A. Magee
Democratic March 4, 1873 –
March 3, 1875
[Data unknown/missing.]
Lost renomination.
[Data unknown/missing.]
Joseph Powell (Towanda, Pennsylvania).jpg
Joseph Powell
Democratic March 4, 1875 –
March 3, 1877
[Data unknown/missing.]
Lost re-election.
Edward Overton, Jr. - Brady-Handy.jpg
Edward Overton Jr.
Republican March 4, 1877 –
March 3, 1881
[Data unknown/missing.]
Lost renomination.
Cornelius C. Jadwin.jpg
Cornelius C. Jadwin
Republican March 4, 1881 –
March 3, 1883
[Data unknown/missing.]
Lost re-election.
George Adams Post.jpg
George A. Post
Democratic March 4, 1883 –
March 3, 1885
[Data unknown/missing.] [Data unknown/missing.]
Frank Charles Bunnell.jpg
Frank C. Bunnell
Republican March 4, 1885 –
March 3, 1889
[Data unknown/missing.]
Retired.
MyronBenjaminWright.jpg
Myron B. Wright
Republican March 4, 1889 –
November 13, 1894
[Data unknown/missing.]
Died.
Vacant November 13, 1894 –
February 23, 1895
Edwin J. Jorden Republican February 23, 1895 –
March 3, 1895
[Data unknown/missing.]
Retired.
Vacant March 4, 1895 –
November 5, 1895
James Hodge Codding.jpg
James H. Codding
Republican November 5, 1895 –
March 3, 1899
Elected after the death of Representative-elect Myron B. Wright.
Retired.
Charles Frederick Wright.jpg
Charles F. Wright
Republican March 4, 1899 –
March 3, 1903
[Data unknown/missing.]
Retired.
EliasDeemer.jpg
Elias Deemer
Republican March 4, 1903 –
March 3, 1907
Redistricted from the 16th district.
Lost re-election.
[Data unknown/missing.]
Wilson-William-Bauchop-130313.jpg
William B. Wilson
Democratic March 4, 1907 –
March 3, 1913
[Data unknown/missing.]
Lost re-election.
Edgar R. Kiess.jpg
Edgar R. Kiess
Republican March 4, 1913 –
March 3, 1923
[Data unknown/missing.]
Redistricted to the 16th district.
Louis T. McFadden.jpg
Louis T. McFadden
Republican March 4, 1923 –
January 3, 1935
Redistricted from the 14th district.
Lost re-election.
[Data unknown/missing.]
Charles E. Dietrich Democratic January 3, 1935 –
January 3, 1937
[Data unknown/missing.]
Lost re-election.
Albert G. Rutherford.jpg
Albert G. Rutherford
Republican January 3, 1937 –
August 10, 1941
[Data unknown/missing.]
Died.
Vacant August 10, 1941 –
November 4, 1941
Wilson D. Gillette (Pennsylvania Congressman).jpg
Wilson D. Gillette
Republican November 4, 1941 –
January 3, 1945
[Data unknown/missing.]
Redistricted to the 14th district.
Robert F. Rich (Pennsylvania Congressman).jpg
Robert F. Rich
Republican January 3, 1945 –
January 3, 1951
[Data unknown/missing.]
Retired.
[Data unknown/missing.]
Alvin Ray Bush.jpg
Alvin Bush
Republican January 3, 1951 –
January 3, 1953
[Data unknown/missing.]
Redistricted to the 17th district.
3909-walter-francis-e.jpg
Francis E. Walter
Democratic January 3, 1953 –
May 31, 1963
Redistricted from the 21st district.
Died.
[Data unknown/missing.]
Vacant May 31, 1963 –
July 30, 1963
Fred B. Rooney.jpg
Fred B. Rooney
Democratic July 30, 1963 –
January 3, 1979
Elected to finish Walter's term.
Lost re-election.
Don Ritter.png
Donald L. Ritter
Republican January 3, 1979 –
January 3, 1993
[Data unknown/missing.]
Lost re-election.
PFMcHaleJr.jpg
Paul F. McHale
Democratic January 3, 1993 –
January 3, 1999
[Data unknown/missing.]
Retired.
Pat Toomey Congress.jpg
Pat Toomey
Republican January 3, 1999 –
January 3, 2005
[Data unknown/missing.]
Retired to run for U.S. Senator.
Charles W. Dent, official photo portrait, color.jpg
Charlie Dent
Republican January 3, 2005 –
May 12, 2018
Elected in 2004.
Re-elected in 2006.
Re-elected in 2008.
Re-elected in 2010.
PACongressionalDistrict15.png
2003-2013
Re-elected in 2012.
Re-elected in 2014.
Re-elected in 2016.
Resigned.
Pennsylvania US Congressional District 15 (since 2013).tif
2013–2019
Vacant May 12, 2018 –
November 27, 2018
Susan Wild, Official Portrait, 115th Congress.jpg
Susan Wild
Democratic November 27, 2018 –
January 3, 2019
Elected to finish Dent's term. [4]
Redistricted to the 7th district.
Glennthompson.jpg
G. T. Thompson
Republican January 3, 2019 –
present
Redistricted from the 5th district.
Elected in 2018.
Pennsylvania Congressional District 15.png
2019–present

Recent Elections[edit]

Year Election Nominee Party Votes % Nominee Party Votes % Nominee Party Votes %
2000 General Pat Toomey Republican 118,307 53% Edward J. O'Brien Democratic 103,864 47%
2002 General Pat Toomey Republican 98,493 57% Edward J. O'Brien Democratic 73,212 43%
2004 General Charlie Dent Republican 170,634 59% Joe Driscoll Democratic 141,646 39%
2006 General Charlie Dent Republican 106,153 54% Charles Dertinger Democratic 86,186 43%
2008 General Charlie Dent Republican 181,433 59% Sam Bennett Democratic 128,333 41%
2010 General Charlie Dent Republican 109,501 54% John Callahan Democratic 79,857 39% Jake Towne Independent 14,252 8%
2012 General Charlie Dent Republican 168,960 57% Rick Daugherty Democratic 128,764 43%
2014 General Charlie Dent Republican 128,285 100%
2016 General Charlie Dent Republican 185,204 58% Rick Daugherty Democratic 120,190 38% Paul Rizzo Libertarian 11,332 4%
2018 Special Marty Nothstein Republican 129,594 48.26% Susan Wild Democratic 130,353 48.54%
2018 General G. T. Thompson Republican 162,386 67.9% Susan Boser Democratic 76,769 32.1%

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "New Pennsylvania Map Is a Major Boost for Democrats". The Cook Political Report. February 20, 2018. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
  2. ^ "Adventures in Extreme Gerrymandering: See the Fair and Wildly Unfair Maps We Made for Pennsylvania", QUOCTRUNG BUI and NATE COHN, New York Times, 17 January 2018
  3. ^ Cohn, Nate; Bloch, Matthew; Quealy, Kevin (February 19, 2018). "The New Pennsylvania House Districts Are In. We Review the Mapmakers' Choices". The Upshot. The New York Times. Retrieved February 20, 2018.
  4. ^ Olson, Laura. "Susan Wild wins special congressional election to finish Charlie Dent's term". The Morning Call.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°31′44″N 75°57′45″W / 40.52889°N 75.96250°W / 40.52889; -75.96250