- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Frederick County Republicans are not losing much sleep over the state’s proposed legislative redistricting map.
The map, released last week by the Governor’s Redistricting Advisory Committee, does not hurt Republican members of the delegation nor does it expand opportunities for Democrats, legislators say.
“It could’ve been a heck of a lot worse,” said Sen. David R. Brinkley (R-Dist. 4) of New Market.
Del. Galen Clagett (D-Dist. 3A) of Frederick, however, was less enthusiastic about the proposed map. “I’m disappointed because I have spent a lot of time with the state to tweak this thing,” he said.
He said he was hoping the plan would erase the split that divides District 3 into two smaller districts, A and B. Such a split divides the number of delegates, two to represent District 3A and one for District 3B.
The biggest change comes to districts 3B and 4A and 4B. Washington County is no longer part of 3B, and the division of District 4’s A and B no longer exists. District 4, which now includes the western third of Carroll County, would only encompass the greater Mount Airy area.
Three delegates will represent all of District 4, compared to the A and B division that now exists. District 4 would encompasses Brunswick, Middletown, Emmitsburg, Thurmont, Walkersville and New Market.
A section of District 3B, including Brunswick, becomes part of District 4, and 3B in the southern part of Frederick County becomes an open seat.
Del. Kelly Schulz (R-Dist. 4A) of New Market said while her constituency has grown by 30 percent, she is not concerned about doing the job.
But she said she has a problem with the district being so large that representation is not equitable. “It’s a little disconcerting. District 4 will have 10,000 more constituents than District 3,” she said. “I don’t think District 4 has voting representation equity.”
Del. Michael Hough (R-Dist. 3B) of Brunswick agreed that Republicans came out well in the proposed redistricting because it maintains the heavily Republican districts. “Politically, it is fine for me,” he said.
The state must redraw the legislative districts every 10 years following the census to adjust for population shifts and ensure equal representation in the Maryland General Assembly.
The map goes to a public hearing in Annapolis Thursday. Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) will submit the map to the General Assembly at the start of the 2012 session on Jan. 11.
Brinkley said that if the map is not challenged via amendments by the 45th day of the session, it automatically becomes law and takes effect for the 2014 election.
Click here to view an interactive version of the map.