Proposed General Assembly Map Changes Districts In Broadneck
Broadneck would be split between two districts under new map.
The Governor’s Redistricting Advisory Committee (GRAC) revealed the 2012 Maryland General Assembly redistricting map on Friday, with big changes in store for parts of eastern and southern Anne Arundel County.
The committee is responsible for redistricting to even out voting and account for population shifts in the state every 10 years. The committee works with numbers from the 2010 U.S. Census.
The approval process for the map created by the GRAC has a few steps. First, the GRAC panel will hold a public hearing at 10 a.m. on Thursday in the Joint Hearing Room of the Legislative Services Building in Annapolis. At this hearing, the public may comment and give public testimony on the proposed map.
After that, the plan will be reviewed in the General Assembly and then signed into law by the governor. There may be changes along the way, but the final map will be in play for the 2012 election cycle.
On Friday, the committee released the maps to the media in a release. Jeanne Hitchcock, chair of the GRAC, said:
"Throughout this process, the Governor's Redistricting Advisory Committee made an extraordinary effort to take into account the many concerns and comments from experts and citizens from across Maryland. As chair of the Committee, I believe the map we are submitting to the Governor accurately reflects the population shifts and the diversity of Maryland."
Generally, each numbered district 1 through 46 sends one state senator and three delegates to Maryland’s General Assembly. The next scheduled election for the General Assembly will be held in 2014.
However, to help boost the chances of rural representation, the maps also create split districts. For example, instead of having one District 33 that runs from Hanover through Millersville, Crofton, Gambrills, Davidsonville and down to the Calvert county line, mappers in 2002 created one District 33 for the State Senate with a subdistrict for the three delegates—two “33A” and one “33B.”
Currently, District 33A includes the denser areas of Crofton, Millersville and Gambrills, while 33B includes rural areas from Davidsonville south to Deale and Lothian. This is done primarily because south county doesn’t have the population numbers to beat a candidate from denser-populated Crofton.
That seemed to work well, and south county has had the same representative in 33B since it was created in 2002. District 33A/B is currently represented by state Sen. Ed Reilly (R-District 33A/B), Delegate Tony McConkey (R-District 33A), Delegate Cathleen Vitale (R-District 33A) and Delegate Bob Costa (R-District 33B).
For 2012, that district has been moved significantly north. The GRAC proposal now has 33B including Harwood and Davidsonville, but has lost the southernmost parts, including Deale and Tracys Landing.
The map shifts Districts 33A and 33B significantly north, but Davidsonville and parts of Harwood will continue to be mapped into the 33B Crofton-centered State Senate district.
The map draws ten-year delegate Costa out of his seat and into a new district.
Parts of Edgewater, parts of Davdsonville, Deale, Tracys, Fairhaven, Riva, Galesville, West River and Shady Side are now included in a new split district: 30B.
District 30 is currently represented by State Sen. John Astle, Speaker Michael Busch (D), Delegate Ron George (R) and Delegate Herb McMillan (R).
In the 2010 election, Republican McMillan returned to the House of Delegates by bumping out Virginia Clagett (D), a 16-year veteran of the House of Delegates of West River. The newly-drawn 30B could be an easier win for Clagett should she choose to run.
No word yet from the Clagett or Costa on their plans for the 2014 election.
District 30A shifts slightly north and includes parts of Edgewater, Mayo, Annapolis, parts of Crownsville, and the southern portion of the Broadneck peninsula. The remainder of Broadneck would fall under District 33A, which once terminated near the border of Severna Park and Arnold.
GRAC was created on July 4 by Gov. Martin O'Malley. Jeanne Hitchcock served as chair, while committee members included State Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., House Speaker Michael E. Busch, James J. King and Richard Stewart.