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Pennsylvania's 16th congressional district
Pennsylvania's 16th Congressional District.gif
Current Representative Joe Pitts (R)
Population (2000) 646,328
Median income $45,943
Ethnicity 87.9% White, 4.3% Black, 1.4% Asian, 9.0% Hispanic, 0.2% Native American, 0.3% other
Cook PVI R+8

Pennsylvania’s 16th congressional district is located in the southeastern part of the state, just west of Philadelphia. Created after the 2000 Census, the district is composed of a large portion of southern Chester County, all of Lancaster County, and a sliver of Berks County, including a sliver of the city of Reading. The 16th stretches from the southwestern suburbs of Philadelphia in the east to the Susquehanna River in the west, and north to include areas around Reading.

In 2000, the 16th Congressional District was home to 646,328 residents[1], according to the U.S. Census, and its population has increased since that year. Residents of Lancaster County make up the majority of the district's population, followed by Chester County and Berks County. The district is one of the Pennsylvania districts accused of being the result of gerrymandering.

The district can be characterized as predominantly suburban and rural, with some urban pockets of cities and towns. This has produced one of the main dilemmas facing the district: suburban sprawl and economic development versus the need for the preservation of farmland. Chester County, for example, has been simultaneously the fourth most agriculturally active county in the state and the fastest-growing county in the state. Lancaster County also shares the predicament of being a fast-growing county with pressure to preserve agricultural land.

The eastern parts of the district are characterized as suburbs of Philadelphia and of Wilmington, Delaware. Suburbanizing Lancaster County has also seen a tremendous amount of development over the past 15 years in the form of rapidly growing new housing developments and shopping centers. Areas of northwestern Lancaster County border on the suburbs of Harrisburg, and have many commuters to the capital city.

While development in the district continues at a high pace along the access routes to Philadelphia, Lancaster and Reading, the district is home to large tracts of agricultural land. Much of the land is devoted to commercial farming, but a large portion is also devoted to raising horses for steeplechase, fox hunting, and lately flat racing, especially in Chester County. Lancaster and Chester Counties have traditionally been home to many Amish and Mennonite farming communities.

Pockets of urban areas exist in and around the cities of Lancaster, Reading, and West Chester.

The district is also home to hundreds of historic homes and buildings, many predating the American Revolution. The historic preservation of these sites is as important to the district as the preservation of its agriculture, and the combination gives the district an old-world aesthetic often captured in the paintings of local artist Andrew Wyeth.

The District has been represented by Republican Joe Pitts since 1997.

Contents

Election results

In the 2008 United States Presidential election, Republican John McCain narrowly defeated Democrat Barack Obama in the 16th congressional district by just three points.[1] McCain received 51% of the district's vote, while Obama received 48%.[1]

US House election, 2008: Pennsylvania District 16
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Bruce Slater 117543 39.3%
Republican Joseph Pitts 167289 55.9%
Independent John Murphy 11512 3.8%
Constitution Daniel Frank 2823 0.9%
Majority
Turnout

Counties and municipalities within the district

Berks County: Bern, Lower Heidelberg, Reading, South Heidelberg, Spring, Wernersville Borough

Chester County: Avondale, Birmingham, East Bradford, East Fallowfield, East Marlborough, East Nottingham, Elk, Franklin, Highland, Kennett Square Borough, Kennett Township, London Britain, London Grove, Londonderry, Lower Oxford, Newlin, New Garden, New London, Oxford, Parkesburg, Penn, Pennsbury, Upper Oxford, West Chester, West Fallowfield, West Grove, West Marlborough, West Nottingham

Lancaster County: All

List of representatives

The district was created with two seats in 1823

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1823-1833: Two seats

Seat A

Representative Party Years District home Notes
James Allison, Jr. Jacksonian DR March 4, 1823 - ????? 1825 Beaver resigned in 1825 before Congress convened
Vacant  ????, 1825 – October 11, 1825
Robert Orr, Jr. Jacksonian October 11, 1825 - March 3, 1829 Kittanning
Vacant March 4, 1829 – December 15, 1829
Harmar Denny Anti-Masonic December 15, 1829 - March 3, 1833 Pittsburgh installed after William Wilkins resigned in 1829 before qualifying, redistricted to the 22nd district

Seat B

Representative Party Years District home Notes
Walter Forward Jacksonian DR March 4, 1823 - March 3, 1825 Pittsburgh redistricted from the 14th district
James S. Stevenson Jacksonian March 4, 1825 - March 3, 1829
John Gilmore Democratic March 4, 1829 - March 3, 1833 Butler

1833-Present: One seat

Representative Party District home Years Note
Joseph B. Anthony Jacksonian March 4, 1833 - March 3, 1837
Robert H. Hammond Democratic Party Milton March 4, 1837 - March 3, 1841
John Snyder Democratic Party Selinsgrove March 4, 1841 - March 3, 1843 Unsuccessful candidate for reelection
James Black Democratic Party March 4, 1843 - March 3, 1847
Jasper E. Brady Whig Party March 4, 1847 - March 3, 1849 Unsuccessful candidate for reelection
James X. McLanahan Democratic Party March 4, 1849 - March 3, 1853
William H. Kurtz Democratic Party March 4, 1853 - March 3, 1855 Redistricted from 15th district
Lemuel Todd Opposition Party Carlisle March 4, 1855 - March 3, 1857
John A. Ahl Democratic Party Centerville March 4, 1857 - March 3, 1859
Benjamin F. Junkin Republican Party New Bloomfield March 4, 1859 - March 3, 1861 Unsuccessful candidate for reelection
Joseph Bailey Democratic Party March 4, 1861 - March 3, 1863 Redistricted to 15th district
Alexander H. Coffroth Democratic Party March 4, 1863 - March 3, 1865
Vacant March 4, 1865 – February 19, 1866 contested election
Alexander H. Coffroth Democratic Party February 19, 1866 - July 18, 1866
William H. Koontz Republican Party Somerset July 18, 1866 - March 3, 1869
John Cessna Republican Party Bedford March 4, 1869 - March 3, 1871
Benjamin F. Meyers Democratic Party March 4, 1871 - March 3, 1873
John Cessna Republican Party Bedford March 4, 1873 - March 3, 1875
Sobieski Ross Republican Party Coudersport March 4, 1875 - March 3, 1877 Redistricted from 18th district
John I. Mitchell Republican Party Tioga County March 4, 1877 - March 3, 1881 Elected to United States Senate
Robert J. C. Walker Republican Party March 4, 1881 - March 3, 1883 Declined renomination
William W. Brown Republican Party March 4, 1883 - March 3, 1887
Henry C. McCormick Republican Party Williamsport March 4, 1887 - March 3, 1891
Albert C. Hopkins Republican Party Lock Haven March 4, 1891 - March 3, 1895
Fred C. Leonard Republican Party Coudersport March 4, 1895 - March 3, 1897
Horace B. Packer Republican Party Wellsboro March 4, 1897 - March 3, 1901
Elias Deemer Republican Party Williamsport March 4, 1901 - March 3, 1903 Redistricted to 15th district
Charles H. Dickerman Democratic Party Benton Township March 4, 1903 -March 3, 1905 Declined renomination
Edmund W. Samuel Republican Party Mount Carmel March 4, 1905 - March 3, 1907 Unsuccessful candidate for reelection
John G. McHenry Democratic Party Benton Township March 4, 1907 - December 27, 1912 Died
Vacant December 27, 1912 – March 4, 1913
John V. Lesher Democratic Party Sunbury March 4, 1913 - March 3, 1921 Unsuccessful candidate for reelection
I. Clinton Kline Republican Party Sunbury March 4, 1921 - March 3, 1923 Unsuccessful candidate for reelection
Edgar R. Kiess Republican Party March 4, 1923 - July 20, 1930 Redistricted from 15th district, Died
Vacant July 20, 1930 – November 4, 1930
Robert F. Rich Republican Party November 4, 1930 - January 3, 1943
Thomas E. Scanlon Democratic Party Pittsburgh January 3, 1943 - January 3, 1945 Redistricted from 30th district, Unsuccessful candidate for reelection
Samuel K. McConnell, Jr. Republican Party January 3, 1945 - January 3, 1953 Redistricted from 17th district, Redistricted to 13th district
Walter M. Mumma Republican Party January 3, 1953 - February 25, 1961 Redistricted from 18th district, Died
Vacant February 25, 1961 – May 16, 1961
John C. Kunkel Republican Party May 16, 1961 - December 30, 1966 Resigned
Vacant December 30, 1966 – January 3, 1967
Edwin D. Eshleman Republican Party January 3, 1967 - January 3, 1977
Robert S. Walker Republican Party January 3, 1977 - January 3, 1997
Joseph R. Pitts Republican Party January 3, 1997 - Present Incumbent

References


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