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July 5, 2011

Md. redistricting team meets tomorrow

Gov. Martin O'Malley yesterday announced he has appointed a five-member team to supervise Congressional and state redistricting prompted by the 2010 Census.

The Governor's Redistricting Advisory Committee meets tomorrow in Annapolis to set a series of public hearings. The Democratic governor's appointments secretary, Jeanne Hitchcock will lead the committee, which is charged with recommending a redistricting plan to the governor, who then must seek approval from the state legislature.

The General Assembly is expected to call a special session in mid-October to approve the governor's Congressional map, in time for the 2012 presidential election; state legislative districts will take shape early next year. The state's 188 lawmakers won four-year seats in November 2010.

Other redistricting members are: Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, House Speaker Michael Busch, mechanical contractor and Stadium Authority member Richard Stewart and Republican former Del. James King, an Annapolis restaurant owner. (Extended bios after the jump.)

The Sun's John Fritze wrote this morning that national political groups are waiting to see Maryland's redistricting results before deciding whether to jump into any races here. Closely watched will be U.S. Rep. Andy Harris' Eastern Shore district, which also includes portions of Baltimore, Harford and Anne Arundel counties. The freshman Republican won wrested the seat from Democrat Frank Kratovil.

Bios provided by O'Malley's office.

Jeanne D. Hitchcock, Esq. - Will serve as chair of GRAC. Presently serves as Governor O'Malley's Secretary of Appointments. Prior to joining the Governor's Office, she served as Deputy Mayor to then-Mayor Martin O'Malley. While Deputy Mayor, Ms. Hitchcock was instrumental in the redistricting process that, for the first time, created single member districts in Baltimore City. She also served as an Assistant Attorney General from 1980 to 1987.

Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr. - Senate President since 1987, member of the Senate since 1975. President Miller also served on the GRAC in 1991 and 2001.

Michael E. Busch - Speaker of the House since 2003, member of the House of Delegates since 1987.

James King - Served as a member of the House of Delegates from 2007 to 2011 representing District 33A, Anne Arundel County. Small business owner who employs more than 100 Maryland residents. Recently named Business Owner of the Year by the West County Chamber of Commerce and in 2008, named Taxpayers Advocate of the Year by the Maryland Taxpayers Association.

Richard Stewart - Presently serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of Montgomery Mechanical Services Incorporated. A member of the Mechanical Contractors Association of America, Mr. Stewart also has held positions as a board member, director and past president of the Mechanical Contractors Association of Metropolitan Washington. Member of the Maryland Stadium Authority since July 2007.

Posted by Julie Bykowicz at 8:27 AM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Elections
        

Comments

My predictions? Glad you asked:
-They move Maryland District 7 into Congressional District 6 so it leaves Harris, McDonough, and Bartlett to fight for one seat.
-They give up on Congressional districts 1 & 6 and leave them Republican. This would be to make sure Congressional District 2 stays blue when Dutch retires (not saying it is going to happen this election and not that there is a big name challenger). They will do this by shuffling that area where Congressional Districts 1, 2, 3 all meet around Baltimore City; mostly trading the conservative parts of 2 closest to the city with easily Democratic parts of 3.
-Finally, I think they will slightly carve into Congressional District 6 with parts of 4, 7, 8 and mostly 7&8. Bartlett won't be beat but after he retires, there could be a shake up.

So long Andy Harris, you will be redistricted out!

Senator Mike Miller serves on the Governor's Redistricting Committee. In a bizarre comment to the Gaithersburg Gazette after the sparsely attended hearing in Montgomery County on August 10, he asserted "most people must be happy with the current boundaries".

His reading of the minds of absent citizens is political cynicism of the worst kind. The apathy he observed is a direct result of the extreme gerrymandering that fosters disengagement.

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About the bloggers
Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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