Pittsburgh's own Shira Toeplitz has a nice story today in Roll Call on Pennsylvania redistricting, including some new nuggets we haven't seen elsewhere. First, Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Blair, goes on record saying he doesn't want Johnstown, following Early Retuns' scoop about a possible Shuster-Critz matchup:
"Johnstown's got a lot a great people, but I'm not really crazy about taking Johnstown because it's so heavily Democratic," he said. "For years they voted heavily for a Democrat, Jack Murtha."
Most recently, Critz's associates have floated the idea of him challenging Shuster in 2012. Critz even approached Shuster on the House floor to ask him whether he saw the local reports, according to a Republican source.
However, that idea has widely been viewed as a power play by Critz to ensure he gets a favorable district that most likely includes Johnstown.
"He said that because he thinks [Republicans are] going to rejigger the map to make sure he's OK," the Republican source said.
Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair, doesn't want to add too many Republicans for fear of an (already rumored) primary challenge, but of course he doesn't want too many Dems, either, Shira writes, citing unnamed sources in the state.
And down East, it appears Rep. Joe Pitts, R-Lancaster, is hoarding Republicans:
Rep. Joe Pitts has been stubborn about giving up some of the Republican voters in his district so the competitive suburban Philadelphia districts to his east can be bolstered, according to multiple Pennsylvania sources familiar with the situation. One GOP source close to the process said Pitts is reluctant to give up voters in the southern part of Chester County.
"It's a problem. He's got to give," another Republican source said.
Pitts, the longest-serving GOP Member in the delegation, won re-election by more than 30 points in November — although President Barack Obama came within 3 points of carrying the district in 2008.
Pitts would not say whether he was willing to shed some Republicans to his colleagues when questioned about it Thursday at the Capitol.
"All of us will have some minor changes," Pitts told Roll Call.