Reporting Pat Warren
ANNAPOLIS (WJZ)– Governor O’Malley signed a new Maryland congressional district map into law, setting the stage for a fight over a congressional seat long held by a Western Maryland Republican.
Political reporter Pat Warren has more on the effects of Maryland redistricting.
On his website, 6th District Congressman Roscoe Bartlett says he’s not interested in politics, he’s interested in the country. But politics is certainly interested in him.
Maryland Republicans claim state Democrats targeted his seat for a Democratic takeover.
“It was done to increase their numbers in Washington,” said Republican Sen. Nancy Jacobs, who represents Cecil and Harford Counties.
Redistricting now gives Democrats a crack at the seat Bartlett has held for 20 years.
Remember these campaign ads? It was a brutal contest between first-term Democrat Frank Kratovil and Republican Andy Harris in Maryland’s 1st District ended with Harris regaining the seat long held by Republicans.
“I wouldn’t imagine the Republicans would spend 10 cents in District 1, but they’ll spend a million plus, millions to hold on to that seat in Western Maryland,” Senate President Mike Miller said.
Bartlett has said he will run for re-election, but the governor and General Assembly have literally changed the landscape.
“There’ll be people coming in from West Virginia, Pennsylvania, people coming in from Virginia campaigning in that seat,” Miller said. “It’s gonna be like the Civil War. It’s going to be like the North and the South coming together in Antietam, you know, battling.”
Now that the congressional work is done, the next phase is the legislative redistricting, which could potentially impact lawmakers’ own voting districts.
The governor says the map was drawn only to reflect population changes reflected in the 2010 Census.