Aug. 28, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Pennsylvania - 16th District

Incumbent -- Joe Pitts (R) ; Running for re-election

Safe Republican
Race Ratings Key
 

CQ Politics rates this race as "Safe," meaning the incumbent party is virtually certain to win the seat.

 

District Information

District Profile from Politics in America

Located in southeastern Pennsylvania and bordering Delaware and Maryland, the 16th includes all of Lancaster County, the southern half of Chester County and portions of southwest Berks County, including part of Reading. The predominately white and mainly white-collar district also includes much of Pennsylvania Dutch Country.

The strong work ethic of the local labor force and the district's proximity to major roadways attract companies to the area, which is central to the mid-Atlantic's major markets. For several decades, economic expansion has attracted new residents both to populous Lancaster and still largely pastoral areas of Chester (shared with the 6th and 7th) counties. Some of the counties' farmland has been built over with tract housing to accommodate the population growth, and a significant proportion of the growth in Lancaster County has been among Hispanic residents.

Farm preservation remains a major concern, especially in Lancaster County, which has a diverse agricultural economy, produces more farm-based revenue than any other county in the state, and is a national leader in poultry and livestock raising. The Kennett Square area in Chester County still produces one of the nation's largest mushroom crops. Tourism also adds to the diversity of the 16th's economy. Millions of visitors annually flock to Dutch Country to gaze at Amish horse-drawn carriages, browse at quilt shops and dine in family-style restaurants.

Since the dawn of the Civil War, the areas of the 16th have favored the GOP at all levels, but Republican John McCain eked out only a slim, 51 percent majority in the 2008 presidential election. Lancaster County, which accounts for just more than 70 percent of the district population, has traditionally set the district's conservative political tone with its Amish heritage, and Republican Gov. Tom Corbett did 17 percentage points better in the county than he did statewide. But Democratic candidates can win votes in the more socially moderate Chester County.

Major Industry

Agriculture, tourism, manufacturing

Cities

Lancaster, 59,322; Reading (pt.), 47,115; West Chester, 18,461

Notable

The original five-and-dime store that started the Woolworth chain opened in Lancaster in 1879.

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