Pennsylvania Voters Elect Most Diverse Class of Lawmakers in State’s History

When mapmakers reimagined the boundaries of Pennsylvania’s 253 legislative districts, they did it with an eye on the state’s growing racial and ethnic minorities, and officials say that has helped yield the most diverse incoming class of lawmakers yet, the Associated Press reported. The number of state lawmakers who are Black, Latino or of South Asian descent will rise as part of what House Democrats call the “most diverse class of freshmen legislators” in Pennsylvania history after candidates ran in this year’s election in the newly drawn map of districts. The proportion of Black lawmakers is now slightly outpacing that of Black residents in Pennsylvania, with both around 11%, even after the departure for higher offices of two Black lawmakers, Summer Lee (elected to Congress) and Austin Davis (elected lieutenant governor). The election, however, was mixed for Latinos: Their rapid population growth over the past decade in Pennsylvania and several new districts designed to boost their electoral strength did not translate into significant electoral gains in the Legislature. There, the number of Latinos will rise from four to five, or just 2% in a state where Latinos make up 8% of Pennsylvania’s 13 million residents. Proportional representation would be more like 20 seats.