Pennsylvania's 12th congressional district

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Pennsylvania's 12th congressional district
District 12.png
Boundaries beginning January 2019
Current Representative Keith Rothfus (RSewickley)
Cook PVI R+17[1]
The 12th congressional district's boundaries from January 3, 2013 to January 2019

Pennsylvania's 12th congressional district is located in southwestern Pennsylvania, and included all of Beaver County, and parts of Allegheny, Cambria, Lawrence, Somerset, and Westmoreland Counties. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania redrew this and other state congressional districts in February 2018 after ruling the previous map unconstitutional, and gave its number to a district in central and northeast Pennsylvania, covering much of the old 10th district. The old 12th district will be resized to an area north and west of Pittsburgh and renamed the 17th district, for the 2018 elections and representation thereafter.[2]

The old 12th district is represented by Republican Keith Rothfus. Before the 2011 round of redistricting, the 12th District was widely considered to be gerrymandered by the Republican-controlled state legislature as a heavily Democratic district. It consisted of all of Greene County, and parts of Allegheny, Armstrong, Cambria, Fayette, Indiana, Somerset, Washington, and Westmoreland Counties.

Geography 2003–2013[edit]

Located in southwestern Pennsylvania, the 12th District consisted of all of Greene County, and parts of Allegheny, Armstrong, Cambria, Fayette, Indiana, Somerset, Washington, and Westmoreland Counties. A thoroughly unionized district, the 12th has historically been among the most Democratic areas of the state. However, the Democrats in this area were not as liberal as their counterparts in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Most were somewhat conservative on social issues, particularly abortion and gun control.

The 12th included all of Greene County, a highly rural region that still has a traditionally Democratic influence due to its labor leanings. In Washington county, the city of Washington, a large and Democratic edge suburb of Pittsburgh is a part of the 12th, as well as the eastern portion of the county. Most of the Monongahela Valley region, a very Democratic area that was once an important steel-making area, was also part of the 12th. However, more rural western Washington County and the suburban northern portion of the county (with towns like McDonald and Canonsburg) then belonged to the 18th. The western portion of Fayette County, including the city of Uniontown, a labor Democratic stronghold was part of this district, while the rural mountainous eastern portion is a part of the 9th.

The 12th District continued eastward, including southeastern and northeastern parts of Westmoreland County, including the labor Democratic city of Latrobe, while leaving the suburban western part of the county (with towns such as Murrysville) and the generally left-leaning city of Greensburg in the 18th. The major population base of the district was located just to the east, taking in most of Somerset and Cambria counties. This area, the heart of a large coal-mining region, includes the district's largest city, Johnstown. The 12th also contained a part of Indiana County, mainly the college town of Indiana.

The 12th completed its wrap around the metro Pittsburgh region by ending in the northeastern corner of the city's suburbs, containing middle class regions such as Lower Burrell and the working class suburb of New Kensington. A portion of Armstrong County was also included in the district, including several industrial suburbs such as Freeport and Apollo.


[Data unknown/missing.]


After the 2000 census, the Republican-controlled state legislature radically altered the 12th in an effort to get more Republicans elected from traditionally heavily Democratic southwestern Pennsylvania. A large chunk of the old 20th District was incorporated into the 12th. In some parts of the western portion of the district, one side of the street is in the 12th while the other side of the street is in the 18th District (the reconfigured 20th). This led to criticism that the 12th was a gerrymander intended to pack as many of southwestern Pennsylvania's heavily Democratic areas as possible into just two districts—the 12th and the Pittsburgh-based 14th.

Prior to the 2012 redistricting, the district has a Cook Partisan Voting Index score of R+1. The district is notable as the only congressional district in the nation that voted for Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry in 2004 but went for Republican John McCain in 2008. This is mainly due to the fact that since 2000 Southwestern Pennsylvania has gradually become more Republican leaning.

2006 election[edit]

In the 2006 election, Murtha was re-elected with 61% of the vote. His Republican opponent, Washington County Commissioner Diana Irey, received 39%.

2008 election[edit]

John Murtha won the 2008 election with 58% of the vote. Murtha was a United States Marine and the first Vietnam War veteran to serve in Congress. He defeated Lt. Col. William T. Russell, an army veteran.

2010 special election[edit]

Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell scheduled a special election for May 18, 2010, following the death of Representative John Murtha. On March 8, 2010, the Pennsylvania Democratic Party's Executive Committee nominated Mark Critz, Murtha's former district director.[3] On March 11, a convention of Republicans from the 12th district nominated businessman Tim Burns.[4] The Libertarian Party's candidate was Demo Agoris, who ran for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in the 48th district as a Libertarian in 2006.

Mark Critz won the election.

2010 election[edit]

Mark Critz was re-elected in the regularly scheduled 2010 election; again beating Republican Tim Burns (this time with 51% of the vote against 49%).

2012 election[edit]

Mark Critz ran for re-election to a second full term in the 2012 election, but was defeated by Republican challenger Keith Rothfus. Critz garnered 48.5% of the vote to Rothfus' 51.5%.[5] The 12th had absorbed a large chunk of the old 4th District, including Rothfus' home, after the 2010 census, and was significantly more Republican than its predecessor.

List of representatives[edit]

Representative Party Years Electoral history
District created in 1795 from Pennsylvania's At-large congressional district
AlbertGallatin.jpeg Albert Gallatin Democratic-Republican March 4, 1795 –
March 3, 1801
Resigned to become U.S. Secretary of the Treasury
No image.svg William Hoge Democratic-Republican March 4, 1801 –
March 3, 1803
Redistricted to 10th District
District eliminated 1803
District restored 1813
No image.svg Aaron Lyle Democratic-Republican March 4, 1813 –
March 3, 1817
[Data unknown/missing.]
No image.svg Thomas Patterson Democratic-Republican March 4, 1817 –
March 3, 1823
Redistricted to 15th District
No image.svg John Brown Jacksonian DR March 4, 1823 –
March 3, 1825
Redistricted from 9th District
No image.svg John Mitchell Jacksonian March 4, 1825 –
March 3, 1829
Lost re-election
John scott.jpg John Scott Jacksonian March 4, 1829 –
March 3, 1831
Lost re-election
No image.svg Robert Allison Anti-Masonic March 4, 1831 –
March 3, 1833
No image.svg George Chambers Anti-Masonic March 4, 1833 –
March 3, 1837
[Data unknown/missing.]
No image.svg Daniel Sheffer Democratic March 4, 1837 –
March 3, 1839
Lost re-election
JCooper.jpg James Cooper Whig March 4, 1839 –
March 3, 1843
[Data unknown/missing.]
No image.svg Almon H. Read Democratic March 4, 1843 –
June 3, 1844
Redistricted from 17th District
Vacant June 3, 1844 –
December 2, 1844
No image.svg George Fuller Democratic December 2, 1844 –
March 3, 1845
[Data unknown/missing.]
David Wilmot.png David Wilmot Democratic March 4, 1845 –
March 3, 1851
GalushaAaron.jpg Galusha A. Grow Democratic March 4, 1851 –
March 3, 1853
Redistricted to the 14th District
HBWright.jpg Hendrick B. Wright Democratic March 4, 1853 –
March 3, 1855
Lost re-election
No image.svg Henry M. Fuller Opposition March 4, 1855 –
March 3, 1857
No image.svg John G. Montgomery Democratic March 4, 1857 –
April 24, 1857
Vacant April 24, 1857 –
December 7, 1857
PaulLeidy.jpg Paul Leidy Democratic December 7, 1857 –
March 3, 1859
[Data unknown/missing.]
George W. Scranton (Pennsylvania Congressman).jpg George W. Scranton Republican March 4, 1859 –
March 24, 1861
Vacant March 24, 1861 –
July 4, 1861
HBWright.jpg Hendrick B. Wright Democratic July 4, 1861 –
March 3, 1863
[Data unknown/missing.]
No image.svg Charles Denison Democratic March 4, 1863 – June 27, 1867 Died
Vacant June 27, 1867 –
November 21, 1867
George Washington Woodward - Brady-Handy.jpg George W. Woodward Democratic November 21, 1867 –
March 3, 1871
Lazarus D. Shoemaker (Pennsylvania Congressman).jpg Lazarus D. Shoemaker Republican March 4, 1871 –
March 3, 1875
Winthrop Welles Ketchum - Brady-Handy adjusted.jpg Winthrop W. Ketcham Republican March 4, 1875 –
July 19, 1876
Resigned to become U.S. District Judge
Vacant July 19, 1876 –
November 7, 1876
William Henry Stanton 2.jpg William H. Stanton Democratic November 7, 1876 –
March 3, 1877
HBWright.jpg Hendrick B. Wright Democratic March 4, 1877 –
March 3, 1879
Lost re-election
Greenback March 4, 1879 –
March 3, 1881
Joseph A. Scranton (Pennsylvania Congressman).jpg Joseph A. Scranton Republican March 4, 1881 –
March 3, 1883
Lost re-election
Daniel W. Connolly (Pennsylvania Congressman).jpg Daniel W. Connolly Democratic March 4, 1883 –
March 3, 1885
Lost re-election
Joseph A. Scranton (Pennsylvania Congressman).jpg Joseph A. Scranton Republican March 4, 1885 –
March 3, 1887
Lost re-election
John Lynch (1843-1910), Pennsylvania Congressman.jpg John Lynch Democratic March 4, 1887 –
March 3, 1889
Lost re-election
Edwin S. Osborne (Pennsylvania Congressman).jpg Edwin S. Osborne Republican March 4, 1889 –
March 3, 1891
Redistricted from At-large District
George W. Shonk (Pennsylvania Congressman).jpg George W. Shonk Republican March 4, 1891 –
March 3, 1893
Declined to be a candidate for renomination
William H. Hines (Pennsylvania Congressman).jpg William H. Hines Democratic March 4, 1893 –
March 3, 1895
Lost re-election
John Leisenring (Pennsylvania Congressman).jpg John Leisenring Republican March 4, 1895 –
March 3, 1897
Declined to be a candidate for re-election
Morgan B. Williams (Pennsylvania Congressman).jpg Morgan B. Williams Republican March 4, 1897 –
March 3, 1899
Lost re-election
Stanley W. Davenport.jpg Stanley W. Davenport Democratic March 4, 1899 –
March 3, 1901
Lost renomination
Henry W. Palmer.jpg Henry W. Palmer Republican March 4, 1901 –
March 3, 1903
Redistricted to 11th District
George R. Patterson (Pennsylvania Congressman).jpg George R. Patterson Republican March 4, 1903 –
March 21, 1906
Vacant January 21, 1906 –
November 6, 1906
Charles N. Brumm, Pennsylvania Congressman.jpg Charles N. Brumm Republican November 6, 1906 –
January 4, 1909
Resigned when he was elected judge of the court of common pleas of Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania
Vacant January 4, 1909 –
March 3, 1909
Alfred B. Garner (Pennsylvania Congressman).jpg Alfred B. Garner Republican March 4, 1909 –
March 3, 1911
Unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1910
No image.svg Robert E. Lee Democratic March 4, 1911 –
March 3, 1915
Lost re-election
Robert D. Heaton (Pennsylvania Congressman).jpg Robert D. Heaton Republican March 4, 1915 –
March 3, 1919
JohnReber.jpg John Reber Republican March 4, 1919 –
March 3, 1923
JohnJosephCasey.jpg John J. Casey Democratic March 4, 1923 –
March 3, 1925
Lost re-election
Edmund N. Carpenter (Pennsylvania Congressman).jpg Edmund N. Carpenter Republican March 4, 1925 –
March 3, 1927
Lost re-election
JohnJosephCasey.jpg John J. Casey Democratic March 4, 1927 –
May 5, 1929
Vacant May 5, 1929 –
June 4, 1929
No image.svg C. Murray Turpin Republican June 4, 1929 –
January 3, 1937
Lost re-election
No image.svg J. Harold Flannery Democratic January 3, 1937 –
January 3, 1942
Resigned to become judge of the common pleas court of Luzerne County, Pennsylvania
Vacant January 3, 1942 –
May 19, 1942
No image.svg Thomas B. Miller Republican May 19, 1942 –
January 3, 1945
Lost re-election
IvorFenton.png Ivor D. Fenton Republican January 3, 1945 –
January 3, 1963
Redistricted from 13th District
Lost re-election
J. Irving Whalley.jpg J. Irving Whalley Republican January 3, 1963 –
January 3, 1973
Redistricted from 18th District
John P. Saylor 89th Congress 1965.jpg John P. Saylor Republican January 3, 1973 –
October 28, 1973
Redistricted from 22nd District
Vacant October 28, 1973 –
February 5, 1974
John Murtha portrait 2008.jpg John Murtha Democratic February 5, 1974 –
February 8, 2010
Vacant February 8, 2010 –
May 18, 2010
CongressmanCritz2011.jpg Mark Critz Democratic May 18, 2010 –
January 3, 2013
Elected to finish Murtha's term
Re-elected in 2010
Lost re-election
Keith Rothfus (cropped).png Keith Rothfus Republican January 3, 2013 -

Historical district boundaries[edit]

2005 - 2013

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "New Pennsylvania Map Is a Major Boost for Democrats". The Cook Political Report. February 20, 2018. Retrieved February 21, 2018. 
  2. ^ 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. 
  3. ^ Becker, Bernie (March 8, 2010). "Dems Choose Nominee for Murtha Seat". The New York Times. Retrieved March 9, 2010. 
  4. ^ Faher, Mike (March 12, 2010). "GOP chooses Burns for special election in 12th". The Tribune-Democratic. Retrieved March 12, 2010. 
  5. ^ "2012 General Election: Representative in Congress, District 12". Pennsylvania Department of State. Archived from the original on 16 November 2012. Retrieved 15 November 2012. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°25′42″N 79°29′11″W / 40.42833°N 79.48639°W / 40.42833; -79.48639