Maryland GOP Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, a Republican, said Thursday night he has met with Gov. Martin O’Malley to discuss a recently-released congressional redistricting map, which would put more Democrats in his Western Maryland district and hurt his chances of winning an 11th term.
“I had a very cordial meeting with [Mr.] O’Malley this evening in Annapolis,” Mr. Bartlett, 85, said in a statement. “At a time of the lowest approval rating of Congress in our history, I told Gov. O’Malley that I want to help him strengthen the confidence and trust of Marylanders in Maryland’s delegation in the United States Congress with a redistricting map that respects and accurately reflects the 45 percent of Marylanders who are minorities as well as residents in rural areas.”
Mr. Bartlett suggested “using commonly available tools” to create a revised map that could include three majority-minority districts, two with African American majorities and one a mixed African American-Hispanic minority opportunity district “as well as districts that respect our rural communities.”
Mr. O’Malley could make changes to the map, drawn by his governor-appointed panel, before it is submitted to the General Assembly, which will review the map in a special session that begins Oct. 17.
The map by the five-member panel would remove conservative sections of Baltimore, Carroll, Frederick and Harford counties from Mr. Bartlett’s Western Maryland 6th Congressional District — replacing them with the more Democratic western half of Montgomery County.
State officials must redraw the state’s eight congressional districts this year to keep them relatively equal in population according to last year’s census numbers.