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Between the Lines: Maryland Legislature Passes Map Endangering Bartlett

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo
Utah Republicans believe they have a good chance to take the seat held by Rep. Jim Matheson (D).

Both chambers of Maryland's Democratic-controlled Legislature have passed Gov. Martin O’Malley’s Congressional redistricting map, which puts Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R) in a difficult spot.

Bartlett said Wednesday he will run for an 11th term in the redrawn 6th district. The 85-year-old will face his toughest race in years.

“It creates a competitive 6th district. I’m going to be talking with a number of folks over the next couple of days, and there’s a high likelihood that I’m going to be throwing my hat in the ring for Congress,” state Sen. Robert Garagiola (D) told Roll Call on Wednesday. “Within a matter of days, I’ll make a decision on it.”

The state Senate will need to approve technical changes made by the House of Delegates, and then O’Malley, a Democrat, is expected to sign it into law.

Over the past month, the map has been a highly contentious topic. The changes made from the current lines deeply angered Republicans and some minorities. Rep. Donna Edwards (D), the map’s highest-profile critic on the left, had complained about lack of minority representation in suburban Montgomery County. She said Wednesday that while she feels the map “is not the best approach for minority voters or for all Marylanders,” the process “has run its course.”

OHIO: Ballot Measure Complicates Election

State Republicans are scrambling to derail a Democratic effort to overturn the new  GOP-friendly Congressional map.

Democrats have already begun collecting signatures for a 2012 ballot measure that would overturn the map. The state Supreme Court ruled last week on a technical matter to allow the ballot measure to move forward, and Republicans are examining their options.

If Democrats get enough valid signatures for the ballot measure, Members would not be able to run under the new lines signed by Gov. John Kasich (R). It remains unclear under which lines they would run.

A Republican with a deep knowledge of Ohio politics told Roll Call that a referendum would create “a great deal of chaos” but was guardedly optimistic that there is a way forward for the GOP.

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