……and argue for a change in the First Congressional District boundaries on the first day of re-districting hearings.
From the Baltimore Sun:
A series of Democrats from Maryland’s westernmost corner sent a clear message to legislative map makers at a meeting this afternoon: Give us a chance to take this congressional seat.
“My job is to turn Frederick blue,” said Myrna Whitworth, a self-described partisan who testified at the Governor’s Redistricting Advisory Committee in Frederick. She said that the overwhelming number of Republicans packed into the district means state and national parties ignore the area, assuming it would be impossible to win.
Don DeArmon, a former Democratic candidate for Congress, declared: “We have a chance to create competitive districts.”
The sentiment is at odds with a view pushed by U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer, who has repeatly talked about using the redistricting process to pour Democrats into the 1st congressional district on the Eastern Shore. It is held by freshman U.S. Rep. Andy Harris.
The Western Maryland congressional seat is occupied by U.S. Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett, Jr., a founding member of the Tea Party Caucus. He’s held it since 1993 and is wildly popular, taking 61 percent of the vote last year. But at 85 years old and displaying lackluster fundraising, some Democrats in Annapolis privately wonder if he’s the easier target.
Bartlett’s district now includes eight counties, seven of which stretch along the Mason-Dixon line. It was designed 10 years ago by Gov. Parris Glendening to contain as many GOP voters as possible.
That last line is very interesting. So, if you have all the Republican hot spots drawn into one district, that’s all they get—one seat. Or, at least that must have been Glendening’s theory.
Hearing schedule (click here)