Republicans, Democrats Assail Md. Redistricting Plan

Wednesday, 05 Oct 2011 02:51 PM

By Greg McDonald

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Some Maryland Republicans and Democrats are complaining about the state’s proposed new congressional districts, with both sides arguing that redrawn boundaries would dilute areas traditionally strong for them.

Republicans contend that the new map, which Democratic-controlled panel drew up, “would separate communities with like-minded views and fuse areas with little in common,” turning at least one strong GOP seat into a tossup, The Baltimore Sun reported.

The GOP concerns center on the reconfigured 6th District, the seat of Republican Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett, the Sun reported. Under the new map, a large portion of Washington, D.C., suburbs would be added to Bartlett’s mainly conservative district, a move that state GOP Chairman Alex X. Mooney told the Sun would “destroy” the district. It obviously aims to increase Democratic power in the state, Mooney said.

Some Democrats, however, are complaining about a similar problem in the 4th District of black liberal Rep. Donna Edwards. Under the new boundaries, a predominantly liberal white area of her district bordering the nation’s capital would be swapped with a traditionally conservative area around the state capital of Annapolis. Some Democrats believe that could give Republicans a chance for a takeover.

Despite the complaints, Maryland Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley says he plans to submit a map to the General Assembly that is “substantially similar” to the proposal being criticized.

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