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 MarylandReporter.com 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 MarylandReporter.com 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

Len@MarylandReporter.com