Candidates in redrawn 9th US House district meet for debate

Berks among 8 counties to be represented by winner

POTTSVILLE, Pa. - The six people hoping to represent Berks and seven other counties in Pennsylvania's newly redrawn 9th Congressional District have met face to face.

The three Democrats and three Republicans participated in a candidates forum at D.H.H. Lengel Middle School in Pottsville on Tuesday night.

Two of the candidates -- dentist Dr. Gary Wegman, a Democrat, and retired CIA operations officer Scott Uehlinger, a Republican -- are from Berks County.

The Democratic ballot is rounded out by UPS driver Laura Quick of Palmyra, Lebanon County, and fifth-generation dairy farmer Denny Wolff of Columbia County.

On the Republican side, Uehlinger is opposed by Schuylkill County Commissioner George Halcovage and businessman Dan Meuser of Luzerne County.

The candidates sat together on stage to discuss a variety of topics and share their views on a host of issues before an audience of voters in the school's auditorium.

In addition to a large chunk of Berks, the 9th District comprises all of Carbon, Columbia, Lebanon, Montour, and Schuylkill counties, and parts of Luzerne and Northumberland counties.

The newly reshaped district is part of a statewide map imposed by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on February 19. The court's plan is the result of a lawsuit filed by Democratic voters who claimed that the previous map drawn by the state Legislature unfairly favored Republicans.

Pennsylvania's primary election is set for May 15.

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