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Rep. Micozzie discusses redistricting outcome

Rep. Nick Micozzie of the 163rd legislative district responds to the outcome of redistricting and Rep. Greg Vitali’s comments that redistricting lines for Haverford Township were made to create a Republican stronghold.

Since the preliminary redistricting plans were announced, Rep. Greg Vitali (D) said the proposed plan to move Haverford Township's Republican Wards 1 and 9 from his 166th legislative district to Rep. Nick Micozzie's (R) 163rd was drawn to benefit Republicans.

Micozzie, whom Vitali suggested would benefit from the Republicans' plans, wrote a letter to the editor to the Delaware County Times for the Dec. 1 issue. Micozzie also spoke to Neighbors on Tuesday, Dec. 20, a week after the final plans were approved.

"I had nothing at all to do with putting that [plan] together," Micozzie told Neighbors. "That's up to the leadership."

Micozzie said that the only time he had a remote idea of the plan was during a discussion at a Republican caucus that discussed the complex redistricting process. He added that a map was never shown.

"If you move one precinct, it's like a domino effect – everything moves," he added. "I stayed out of it, as I have always done in the past with redistricting."

Micozzie said that Vitali's accusations were a political ploy.

"First and foremost, neither my office nor I were responsible for the redistricting plan of the 163rd Legislative District, in the same fashion that Rep. Greg Vitali was not responsible for the redistricting plan which included Lower Merion into his district," Micozzie wrote.

"I do not believe our country is properly served when one member of the Delaware County delegation misconstrues a constitutional process for his own perceived political gain," he added.

Vitali still maintains that it has it on good authority from multiple undisclosed sources that the removal of the Republican-leaning wards in Haverford Township was a result of the desire to create a 163rd district Republican stronghold.

Vitali told Neighbors there was no political gain, and that his concern was on behalf of the township.

"This [redistricting] is making all these districts less competitive, and it's making mine less competitive," Vitali added.

Vitali said he hasn't recently spoken with the Haverford Township commissioners about the possibility of appealing the decision to the state supreme court in January, but that he knows they're concerned about the cost and chances of success.

Micozzie said that once the appeal process has passed, he intends to go door-to-door and talk to the residents of Wards 1 and 9 in Haverford Township.

"I can assure the residents of those areas that I will provide the same services and representation that I have for many years to the residents of Aldan, Darby Township, Clifton Borough, Landsdowne, Ridley and Upper Darby Township," Micozzie's letter concludes.