On May 6th, Curt Schroder will officially resign as State Rep to the 155th legislative district.
Since the decision was made so close to the Nov election, and with a new Rep being sworn-in in Dec anyway, it looks like the residents of the 155 will not have a State Rep in Harrisburg for the next 7mos. There will most likely not be a special election to fill the vacancy when Schroder leaves on the 6th; according to the Department of State a special election could cost up to $200k. Schroder insists that his office will remain open, and that his staff will continue to help and assist any constituents until his successor takes over.
Back in Nov, Schroder announced that he would not seek reelection for a 10th term; “Eighteen years is a long time to serve, but more importantly, I have reached the point where I feel I have given all that I can to this position.” His decision to move on opened the door for long-term aide Becky Corbin to seek her former bosses position.
Corbin easily defeated John Muller, 66% – 34%, in April’s Primary Election for the Republican nomination. Now Corbin will face Democrat Downingtown Mayor Josh Maxwell in Nov. Maxwell did not have a primary opponent.
The race between Corbin and Maxwell will be interesting to watch, and we will be sure to cover the many aspects of the campaign between now and Nov; where they stand on the issues, backgrounds, qualifications, etc, but let’s first start with the shape of the race (literally). Corbin who lives in East Brandywine and Maxwell who lives in the Borough of Downingtown will be asking residents for their vote, but the voters that will decide the outcome of this contest may not all be represented by whom they select on Nov 6th.
Due to the redistricting process debacle this year, Maxwell and Corbin are running in the 2001 map of the 155th legislative district. However, the Legislative Reapportionment Committee has adopted a new preliminary map that has quite a few changes to the 155th district. Some municipalities have been added or subtracted to the district, but most apparent is the exclusion of Downingtown Borough. The Borough of Downingtown will leave the 155th and be added into a new 74th district.
What does this mean? Depending on who you ask there are two plausible options. One, should Maxwell receive the nod in Nov, and the maps be approved as they currently stand, he will be living in a different district (74th) then the voters who just offered him the job (155th). So? Well, according to the qualifications of members in the PA Constitution Article II Sec. 5 “Senators shall be at least twenty-five years of age and Representatives twenty-one years of age. They shall have been citizens and inhabitants of their respective districts one year next before their election (unless absent on the public business of the United States or of this State) and shall reside in their respective districts during their terms of service.”
Two, the PA Supreme Court could attach an order to their approval of the new maps stating that all of the requirements won’t take effect until 2014. In which case Maxwell would have enough time to move into the new 155th (if he decided to seek reelection to the seat) and therefore would meet all of the residency requirements. If Corbin wins, none of these scenarios matter, as she lives in the 155th in both the current 2001 map and the proposed 2011 map.
Like we said, this will be an interesting race to watch, and it seems fitting to start with the shape of the race. Stay tuned…