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Bid to help Pennsylvania Latinos win more seats misses mark, critics say

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Pennsylvania State Capitol

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — An effort to reflect the rapid growth of Pennsylvania’s Hispanic population in newly drawn districts for the state’s predominantly white state Legislature is drawing criticism that it didn’t accomplish that mission.

Instead, critics say proposals from the five-member Legislative Reapportionment Commission actually narrowed opportunities for Latinos. Victor Martinez, a radio station owner who testified twice during commission hearings, says the commission created more districts that favor minority candidates generally, but not necessarily Latino candidates. The chair of Fair Districts PA says a new Senate district in Allentown actually has fewer Latino residents than the existing district, while it splinters a corridor connecting fast-growing Latino communities.

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