Pennsylvania's 15th congressional district

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Pennsylvania's 15th congressional district
District 15.png
Boundaries beginning January 3, 2019; below statistics, except PVI, apply to old boundaries
Current Representative Vacant 
Distribution
  • 87.30% urban
  • 12.70% rural
Population (2000) 646,300
Median income 45,330
Ethnicity
Cook PVI R+20[1]

Pennsylvania's 15th Congressional District is located in eastern Pennsylvania. The district stretches from the suburbs east of Harrisburg to communities east of Allentown and the New Jersey border. Counties located in the district include 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.

Despite a slight Democratic tilt due to the presence of fairly large cities such as Allentown and Bethlehem, the Democrats in the Lehigh Valley are nowhere near as liberal as their counterparts in the Philadelphia area. In particular, they tend to be somewhat conservative on social issues. As a result, it has been in Republican hands for all but six years since 1979. During 1999–2005, Pat Toomey represented the district. Since 2005, fellow Republican Charlie Dent has represented the district; in September 2017 he announced he would be retiring and not seek re-election in 2018. The district has a Cook Partisan Voting Index score of R+4.

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania redrew the district in February 2018 after ruling the previous map unconstitutional. The old 15th district will have its boundaries compressed around Allentown and become the seventh district, while the old fifth district will have its boundaries adjusted and become the 15th district for the 2018 election and representation thereafter.[2]

Politically important district[edit]

The District consists principally of Lehigh County and Northampton County. It is considered politically important nationally, since it is usually heavily contested, with neither Republicans nor Democrats having been able to win the district consistently. Since at least the Second World War, the District's voters have chosen the presidential candidate that goes on to win 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 result in the district was 148,679 votes for Kerry over 148,576 votes for Bush, a 103-vote margin of victory.

List of representatives[edit]

Representative Party Years Electoral history Location
District created in 1813
Vacant March 4, 1813 –
May 14, 1813
  [Data unknown/missing.]
No image.svg Thomas Wilson Democratic-
Republican
May 14, 1813 –
March 3, 1817
First elected to finish Representative-elect Abner Lacock's term.
No image.svg Robert Moore Democratic-
Republican
March 4, 1817 –
March 3, 1821
Retired.
No image.svg Patrick Farrelly Democratic-
Republican
March 4, 1821 –
March 3, 1823
Redistricted to the 18th district.
No image.svg Thomas Patterson Jacksonian Democratic-
Republican
March 4, 1823 –
March 3, 1825
Redistricted from the 12th district.
Lost renomination.
[Data unknown/missing.]
No image.svg Joseph Lawrence Adams March 4, 1825 –
March 3, 1829
Lost re-election.
No image.svg William McCreery Jacksonian March 4, 1829 –
March 3, 1831
Lost re-election.
Thomas McKean Thompson McKennan.png Thomas M. T. McKennan Anti-Masonic March 4, 1831 –
March 3, 1833
Redistricted to the 21st district.
No image.svg Andrew Beaumont Jacksonian March 4, 1833 –
March 3, 1837
Retired. [Data unknown/missing.]
No image.svg David Petrikin Democratic March 4, 1837 –
March 3, 1841
[Data unknown/missing.]
No image.svg Benjamin A. Bidlack Democratic March 4, 1841 –
March 3, 1843
Redistricted to the 11th district.
No image.svg Henry Nes Independent
Democratic
March 4, 1843 –
March 3, 1845
[Data unknown/missing.] [Data unknown/missing.]
No image.svg Moses McClean Democratic March 4, 1845 –
March 3, 1847
[Data unknown/missing.]
No image.svg Henry Nes Whig March 4, 1847 –
September 10, 1850
Died.
Vacant September 10, 1850 –
December 2, 1850
No image.svg Joel B. Danner Democratic December 2, 1850 –
March 3, 1851
[Data unknown/missing.]
No image.svg William H. Kurtz Democratic March 4, 1851 –
March 3, 1853
Redistricted to the 25th district.
No image.svg James Gamble Democratic March 4, 1853 –
March 3, 1855
Redistricted from the 13th district. [Data unknown/missing.]
No image.svg John J. Pearce Opposition March 4, 1855 –
March 3, 1857
Retired.
AllisonWhite.jpg Allison White Democratic March 4, 1857 –
March 3, 1859
Lost re-election.
Hon. James T. Hale, Pa - NARA - 525352 (V2).jpg James T. Hale Republican March 4, 1859 –
March 3, 1863
Redistricted to the 18th district.
JosephBaileyPA.jpg Joseph Bailey Democratic March 4, 1863 –
March 3, 1865
Redistricted from the 16th district. [Data unknown/missing.]
Adam John Glossbrenner.jpg Adam J. Glossbrenner Democratic March 4, 1865 –
March 3, 1869
Lost re-election.
Richard Jacobs Haldeman - Brady-Handy.jpg Richard J. Haldeman Democratic March 4, 1869 –
March 3, 1873
Retired.
John Alexander Magee - Brady-Handy.jpg John A. Magee Democratic March 4, 1873 –
March 3, 1875
Lost renomination. [Data unknown/missing.]
Joseph Powell (Towanda, Pennsylvania).jpg Joseph Powell Democratic March 4, 1875 –
March 3, 1877
Lost re-election.
Edward Overton, Jr. - Brady-Handy.jpg Edward Overton, Jr. Republican March 4, 1877 –
March 3, 1881
Lost renomination.
Cornelius C. Jadwin.jpg Cornelius C. Jadwin Republican March 4, 1881 –
March 3, 1883
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
Retired.
MyronBenjaminWright.jpg Myron B. Wright Republican March 4, 1889 –
November 13, 1894
Died.
Vacant November 13, 1894 –
February 23, 1895
No image.svg Edwin J. Jorden Republican February 23, 1895 –
March 3, 1895
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
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
Lost re-election.
Edgar R. Kiess.jpg Edgar R. Kiess Republican March 4, 1913 –
March 3, 1923
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.]
No image.svg Charles E. Dietrich Democratic January 3, 1935 –
January 3, 1937
Lost re-election.
Albert G. Rutherford.jpg Albert G. Rutherford Republican January 3, 1937 –
August 10, 1941
Died.
Vacant August 10, 1941 –
November 4, 1941
Wilson D. Gillette (Pennsylvania Congressman).jpg Wilson D. Gillette Republican November 4, 1941 –
January 3, 1945
Redistricted to the 14th district.
Robert F. Rich (Pennsylvania Congressman).jpg Robert F. Rich Republican January 3, 1945 –
January 3, 1951
Retired. [Data unknown/missing.]
Alvin Ray Bush.jpg Alvin Bush Republican January 3, 1951 –
January 3, 1953
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
First elected to finish Walter's term.
Lost re-election.
Don Ritter.png Donald L. Ritter Republican January 3, 1979 –
January 3, 1993
Lost re-election.
PFMcHaleJr.jpg Paul F. McHale, Jr. Democratic January 3, 1993 –
January 3, 1999
Retired.
Pat Toomey Congress.jpg Pat Toomey Republican January 3, 1999 –
January 3, 2005
Retired to run for U.S. Senator.
Charles W. Dent, official photo portrait, color.jpg Charlie Dent Republican January 3, 2005 –
May 12, 2018
First elected in 2004.
Re-elected in 2006.
Re-elected in 2008.
Re-elected in 2010.
PACongressionalDistrict15.png 2005 - 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 6, 2018
To be determined November 6, 2018 –
January 3, 2019
To be determined in the November 6, 2018 special election.
To be determined from January 3, 2019 To be determined in the 2018 elections. District 15.png Beginning 2019

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%

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. ^ 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. 

External links[edit]

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