Former gov­er­nor in­tended re­dis­trict­ing to fa­vor party

The Washington Times Daily - - METRO - BY BRIAN WITTE

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.

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