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Between the Lines: Roscoe Bartlett’s Once-Safe Maryland Seat on the Line

A state commission tasked with advising Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) on Congressional redistricting released its recommended map Tuesday.

The redrawn lines will make Republican Rep. Roscoe Bartlett’s once-safe western Maryland seat difficult for the GOP to retain. 

Bartlett spokeswoman Lisa Wright told Roll Call, “He’s not going to comment and will have no comment until after he has a meeting with the governor.”

There’s speculation that state Sen. Robert Garagiola (D) will run for the seat. A close Garagiola ally, Maryland Senate President Thomas Miller, was among the members appointed by O’Malley to the Governor’s Redistricting Advisory Committee.

The committee had Republican representation but included more Democrats. The panel’s recommendations must be submitted to both chambers of the Maryland Legislature — each with Democratic majorities. Pending passage and changes to the map, O’Malley is likely to sign it into law.

New Mexico: Legislature Hires Legal Team for Redistricting

The New Mexico Legislature has hired the same team of lawyers to argue its redistricting case that represented lawmakers during their 2001 redistricting court battle, the Albuquerque Journal reported.

Democrats control both chambers of the Legislature but were still unable to agree on a new map for the state’s three Congressional districts. The state Senate approved a plan Sept. 19, but the state House failed to back that or any other Congressional map before the special session ended Sept. 24.

Even if the Legislature had agreed to a plan, Democrats expected Gov. Susana Martinez (R) would veto it.

The state Senate plan would have kept the southern 2nd district Republican and the northern 3rd district Democratic and would have made the Albuquerque-based 1st district — traditionally Republican until Rep. Martin Heinrich (D) won it in 2008 — more favorable to Democrats.

According to the Associated Press, the three attorneys, being paid $260 an hour each, include Luis Stelzner of Albuquerque, former state legislator Richard Olson (R) of Roswell and Michael Browde, a University of New Mexico emeritus law professor.

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