- Unbeliebable: White House turns Bieber petition response into immigration screed
- Obama signs law denying Iran ambassador’s visa, but says law is ‘advisory’
- Mich. judge to laughing convicted killer: ‘I hope you die in prison’
- Man charged in Kansas City-area highway shootings
- Keystone XL pipeline still on hold after State Dept. decision
- Fla. man charged with killing 16-month-old son to play Xbox undisturbed
- Drones from the deep: Pentagon develops ocean-floor attack robots
- Michigan mayor slaps back atheists’ try to erect ‘reason station’ at city hall
- PHILLIPS: Where is the conservative establishment?
- 7.5-magnitude earthquake shakes southern Mexico
Maryland Democrats’ eye seat held by GOP’s Rep. Bartlett
Maryland Democrats looking to extend their dominance in state politics during this year’s congressional redistricting appear to have settled on a primary target — forcing out 10-term Republican Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett from his Western Maryland seat.
Gov. Martin O'Malley and the Democrat-controlled General Assembly next month will redraw congressional districts based on new census numbers, but bootleg maps already show them reworking the 85-year-old congressman’s conservative district to their advantage.
“Democrats know the seat will be open soon enough, so why not now through redistricting?” said David Wasserman of the Cook Political Report. “According to the redistricting maps circulating now, there’s no way Roscoe Bartlett will win re-election.”
Mr. Bartlett has held the 6th District seat since 1993 and has won each of his past two elections by 20 percentage points, but Democrats say the congressman’s age, low profile and the changing demographics of his district give them a good opportunity to add to their 6-to-2 edge in congressional seats.
Mr. Bartlett has filed for re-election and said Wednesday that he has every intention to run for an 11th term.
“As long as I have good health and the constituents give me their vote, then I’m serving,” he said. “I think that we’ve been effective in serving the constituents in the 6th District, and with their support we’d like to continue.”
Mr. O'Malley will propose a map in coming weeks that will be considered by the assembly during a special session that begins Oct. 17. None of the maps circulating, including the ones seen by Mr. Wasserman, is official.
The governor will base his map on recommendations made by a five-member redistricting committee, which this month wrapped up a series of public hearings throughout the state.
Partisan politics ‘drive everything’
While Mr. O'Malley and state officials have promised a transparent process focused on accurate representation and diversity, redistricting is typically a partisan fight for land — which allows Maryland’s Democratic majority to largely control the process.
Partisan politics “drive everything” in redistricting, said Todd Eberly, the coordinator of public-policy studies at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. “If we were in a state controlled by Republicans, they would do everything they can to do the same thing.”
Mr. Eberly said he is certain that Democratic leaders will go after a seventh congressional seat, and that Mr. Bartlett’s age and the geography of his district make him a more vulnerable target than the state’s other Republican congressman, first-term Rep. Andrew P. Harris, whose 5th District consists largely of the state’s conservative Eastern Shore.
The state’s current map, drawn in 2001, helped Democrats in 2002 to gain two seats by ousting eight-term Republican Rep. Connie Morella in favor of Rep. Chris Van Hollen, a Democrat, and allowing Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, a Democrat, to win a seat vacated by gubernatorial candidate Robert L. Ehrlich, a Republican.
Mr. Bartlett’s district spans nearly all of the state’s western region — Allegany, Carroll, Frederick, Garrett and Washington counties — as well as northern sections of Baltimore and Harford counties.
The new map is not expected to include the largely conservative Baltimore, Carroll and Howard counties, and could exclude a section of Frederick County. A larger portion of traditionally Democratic northern Montgomery County would be added.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
David Hill joined The Washington Times in February 2011 as a Maryland political reporter. He can be reached at email@example.com.
- Md. drivers could face eventual doubling of gas tax
- Federal appeals court restores Maryland's concealed carry law
- Md. bill would end student suspensions for mimicking gun behavior
- Maryland Senate passes bill decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana
- Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell assailed on transportation
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
Women losing coverage under Obamacare, too
- Scalia to students on high taxes: At a certain point, 'perhaps you should revolt'
- Former Ranger breaks silence on Pat Tillman death: I may have killed him
- Special Forces' suicide rates hit record levels casualties of 'hard combat'
- Feds approve powdered alcohol; 'Palcohol' available later this year
- EDITORIAL: Mark Warner running scared?
- Army goes to war with National Guard, seizes Apache attack helicopters
- Critics rail against liberal bias for commencement speakers
- Harry Reid blasts Bundy ranch supporters as 'domestic terrorists'
- EDITORIAL: More Lerner smoking-gun emails at IRS
- EDITORIAL: Republicans finally fight back in phony 'war on women'
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.