Former governor intended redistricting to favor party
ANNAPOLIS | Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley testified that part of his intent was to shift a congressional district long held by a Republican to a Democrat when the state redrew its eight districts in 2011.
Mr. O’Malley, a Democrat whose office held strong influence over redrawing the state’s congressional map, emphasized in a deposition recently made public in a federal lawsuit that he intended to comply with the law.
He also said redistricting in Maryland and many other states is still a partisan process, though he has since decided he supports the use of nonpartisan redistricting commissions. In 2011, though, he set out to draw a map favorable to the Democratic Party.
“That was certainly my hope, and it was part of my intent,” Mr. O’Malley testified in April, adding he also intended to “create a district where the people would be more likely to elect a Democrat than a Republican; yes, this was clearly my intent.”
The longtime Republican incumbent in western Maryland, former Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett, ended up losing the election in 2012 to John Delaney, who is still representing Maryland’s 6th Congressional District.
The district was changed to include 300,000 voters in Montgomery County, a D.C. suburb with more Democratic voters.
Maryland now has seven Democrats and one Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Plaintiffs in the lawsuit allege state officials redrew Maryland’s districts based on party registration and voting histories. They’re asking a three-judge panel to prevent the state from enforcing its congressional map.