Incumbent, challenger file in 15th Legislative District

March 13, 2014

State Rep. Jim Christiana, who will be running in Washington County for the first time this year, will be unopposed in the Republican primary May 20, but a general-election challenger has emerged from the Democratic Party.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of State website, Paul Cain of Center Township, outside Aliquippa, filed nominating petitions in Harrisburg before this week’s deadline.

Cain works as a police officer in Aliquippa, but a filing with the state shows that he is away from his job due to a disability.

Christiana, a former Beaver councilman, graduated from Washington & Jefferson College, where he was a political science major, in 2006. He is seeking a fourth two-year term.

The 16 Washington County municipalities in the 15th District are now represented by state Reps. Jesse White and Peter J. Daley. Reapportionment will cause Daley’s 49th Legislative District to shift east, while the 46th Legislative District now represented by White has reoriented northward to include all of South Fayette Township, plus Collier Township, Bridgeville and Heidelberg.

A new legislative map was to take effect in 2012 in the wake of the 2010 U.S. Census, but the state Supreme Court deemed the map so gerrymandered with split municipalities that it ordered the process to be redone and for the old lines to remain in effect for an additional two years.

Washington County municipalities in the 15th Legislative District are Amwell, Blaine, Buffalo, Claysville, Cross Creek, Donegal, East Finley, Green Hills, Hanover, Hopewell, Independence, Jefferson, Morris, South Franklin, West Finley and West Middletown. The district also includes a large chunk of Beaver County.

Another police officer, John Bruner, who works for the South Strabane Township Police Department, announced an intention to run for Christiana’s seat, but he quickly reversed course and bowed out of the race.

Barbara S. Miller covers politics, Washington County government and a variety of other topics for the Observer-Reporter. She is a graduate of Washington & Jefferson College, majoring in English and history. Follow her on Twitter @reporterbarb.

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