Congressional redistricting map targets Bartlett and reshapes 6th District

Congressional redistricting map by the governor's redistricting advisory committee

Congressional redistricting map by the Governor's Redistricting Advisory Committee

The congressional redistricting plan recommended to Gov. Martin O’Malley, as expected, targets Republican Rep. Roscoe Bartlett in the 6th Congressional District, taking Carroll County and much of Frederick County out of the district, according to a map given to and others Monday night.

The Republican official who shared the map said, “It was presented tonight [Monday] by the governor to a small group of people.” The map and its accompanying commentary appear to be the official draft of the Governor’s Redistricting Advisory Committee.

The Associated Press and The Washington Post are reporting that the plan was approved Monday morning by the committee in 4-1, with only Republican former Del. James King dissenting.

The plan would make it more likely that Democrats could pick up another of Maryland’s eight districts in addition to the six they already hold.

The shapes of the 6th and 8th Congressional Districts are much like a map published two weeks ago, with the 6th taking on half of Montgomery County. A large part of northern Frederick County is attached to the 8th Congressional District now represented by Rep. Chris Van Hollen, ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee.

The presentation that explains the maps says: “Approximately 70% of Marylanders stay in their current Congressional District” and the “plan does not draw any incumbent member of Congress out of his district.”

The other six congressional districts look much like “option 1” leaked to the Post and Baltimore Sun on Friday.

As shown in those maps and the earlier one, the 1st Congressional District now represented by freshman Republican Andy Harris becomes an even more solidly Republican and rural district. It includes all of the Eastern Shore, most of Harford County, and runs across the top of Baltimore County to include half the land area of Carroll County.

This reflects what Harris thought the district would look like before he met with the governor on Friday.

While much of rural western, southern and eastern Maryland remain intact, central Maryland remains a crazy quilt of oddly shaped districts. The 3rd Congressional District stretches from Owings Mills, around Baltimore through Columbia and into Montgomery County, with parts of Anne Arundel County and Annapolis attached.

Howard and Anne Arundel counties are split into three congressional districts, and Baltimore County into four.

Howard Gorrell, who attended all 12 of the redistricting committee’s hearings, is already planning to file suit over the map. “As a pro se litigant, I am drafting a complaint, which be filed with the District of Maryland of the United States District Court, unless the Governor will make major changes for compactness,” Gorrell said in an e-mail.

Len Lazarick





About The Author

Len Lazarick

Len Lazarick was the founding editor and publisher of and is currently the president of its nonprofit corporation and chairman of its board He was formerly the State House bureau chief of the daily Baltimore Examiner from its start in April 2006 to its demise in February 2009. He was a copy editor on the national desk of the Washington Post for eight years before that, and has spent decades covering Maryland politics and government.


  1. BJC

    So what else is new.   This happens every 10 years no matter which party is in control!

  2. Wmani

    I cannot believe that this Legislature is playing pure politics and spending an inordinate amount of time trying to jury rig districts in this state to undermine the democratic process.  The state is facing deficits, the counties are facing deficits and of course the Federal government, the source of so much free money, will not longer be able to bail out the states.  Yet, this state has embarked on the familiar O/Mallley agenda of raising more and more revenue to finance more and more state programs.   What will it take to instill in the Legislature a sense of responsibility to checkmate this governor and those in the Legislature continuing to place their political agenda on a much higher plane than what is truly in the best interest of this state.   You have raised the sales tax, the income tax, placed a special tax on liquor, increased tolls, seeking increases in the current high gasoline tax, and on and on and on.   
    So instead of playing around with redistricting, how about concentrating on making this state on worthy of living in, or do we have to look at alternative states to live in to avoid these political shenanigans.

  3. Joangerstner

    I am against the way the redistricting, as it stands now. Being a republican you can understand why that would upset me. The chance of having a republican in office would be slim to none in Frederick, Md. You really need to rethink this and the way it is going to affect us. Joan 

  4. Nedf104

    I am a rabid rabid democrat, but I oppose this plan strongly.  I believe in democracy and believe that people with similar interests or in the same political subdivision (such as county) should be represented by the same person as much as possible.  Draw lines that much geographic sense, and let politicians compete on the basis of ideas and principles.  This gives more power to the people who live in a particular subdivision.  

  5. Johnlrch

    Anne Arundel is still represented by FOUR districts. How does that fall under the guidelines of keeping neighborhoods and communities together? Congressional 2,3,4, and 5. So 4.17% of Marylands’ jurisdictions are represented by 50% of its Congressmen!

  6. Johnlrch

    Sure glad politics was left out of this!


    Who do these politicians think we are, they attack the very people they are paid to represent, the very people who sign their paychecks….it’s about time that the taxpaying citizens of this state and country STOOD UP TO ALL OF THE POLITICAL RULING CLASS and tell them ENOUGH is ENOUGH.  I am in the first Congressional district, just look at the area my Congressman has to does this best serve THE PEOPLE……this is BLATANT POLITICAL BULLYING BY THE ONE PARTY SYSTEM THAT STRANGLES MARYLAND.  They are HAPPY TO CONFISCATE AS MUCH OF OUR MONEY AS THEY CAN while THEY STIFLE AND SILENCE OUR VOICES…Time for change, people, even in Maryland.  Governor O’Malley, you are NOT FIT TO LICK MY SHOE.  You disgust me and all the other decent, hard working tax paying CITIZENS of this state WHO DESERVE SO MUCH BETTER THAN THE LIKES OF YOU AND YOUR CORRUPT CRONIES IN THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY.  

  8. Anonymous

    An excellent example of gerrymandering! This Democratically controlled committee should be proud of disenfranchising so many voters who do not share their opinions. Kudos to Mr. Gorrell for continuing the good fight for rational districts instead of block by block changes.


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