Md. governor says panel will redraw congressional map

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan speaks at an election night party, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, in Annapolis, Md. Hogan earned a second term after defeating Democratic opponent Ben Jealous. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

BALTIMORE (AP) — Maryland’s governor says a “nonpartisan” emergency commission will be created to draw new boundaries for a congressional district.

The commission will craft a redistricting plan for its 6th Congressional District that isn’t affected by gerrymandering, Republican Gov. Larry Hogan said. In Maryland, Democrats were in charge of the last controversial redistricting.

In a statement Monday, Hogan’s office said the nine-member commission will comprise three registered Democrats, three registered Republicans and “three registered voters not affiliated with either party.”

Hogan named three members Monday: Redistricting Reform Commission Judge Alexander Williams, a Democrat; Cato Institute senior fellow Walter Olson, a Republican; and League of Women Voters administrator Ashley Oleson, an independent. The six remaining members will be selected from the public; apply online by Dec. 10.

Monday’s announcement comes weeks after a panel of federal judges ordered Maryland to submit a new map for its 6th District, which currently covers western Maryland through Frederick and parts of Montgomery counties.

Some Republican voters had sued over the district’s boundaries, claiming state officials unfairly redrew it in 2011 to favor Democrats. The U.S. Supreme Court reviewed the case before referring it back to a lower court, effectively allowing the 2011 map to remain in place for the recent midterm elections. Democrat David Trone won the district’s open seat.

Hogan, who faces a heavily Democratic General Assembly heading into the next redistricting in 2021, plans to reintroduce “nonpartisan redistricting legislation” as well.

WTOP’s Max Smith and Jack Pointer contributed to this report.

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