Witnesses Support New Boundaries for 6th Congressional District

Redistricting panel hears testimony at Montgomery College.

About 30 Montgomery County residents told a state panel that they supported redrawing the 6th congressional district to make it more compact.

In November, a panel of federal judges deemed the boundaries of the 6th District were drawn to favor Democrats and violated the constitution, according to the Baltimore Sun.

Currently, the district includes all of Garrett, Allegany and Washington counties. In Frederick, it includes precincts close to the Potomac but also includes a polyp shape that covers the City of Frederick. Then in Montgomery County, the district includes Germantown, Poolesville, Gaithersburg and takes a pincer shape around much of Rockville.

The district combines the urban areas of Montgomery County to the rural areas in the county as well as the counties to the west.

Urban areas are already well represented, said Dick Jurgena, a former Montgomery County Republican party chairman and a candidates for the County Council.

“People out in rural areas don’t get a whole lot of attention,” Jurgena said.

Rep. David Trone of Potomac currently represents the 6th district in Washington.

Redrawing the 6th district will mean making changes to the 8th district, which has historically centered on Montgomery County. Under the current map, the 8th district includes the precincts closest to the D.C. line before enveloping the rest of Rockville and then snaking north to absorb the rest of Frederick County and a big chunk of Carroll County.

“There is no way to make up the district just with Frederick Carroll and three western counties. Something has to be added from the high-population counties,” said Walter Olson, co-chairman of a nine-member panel chosen by Gov. Larry Hogan to respond to the suit. The panel includes Democrats, Republicans and independents.

Olson said the panel plans to have a draft map to Hogan, who would then present it to the General Assembly. Lawmakers could accept or reject the plan.

The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments from attorneys on the case on March 26, according to the Sun.

The panel accepted testimony in a hearing at Montgomery College. Several witnesses encouraged the panel to throw out all the district boundaries and start from scratch. Other Maryland districts, particularly the 3rd which includes Montgomery’s east county, have been ridiculed for their shape.

Olson told the audience that the panel’s only legal obligation was to redraw the 6th.

Any new map would be used in the 2020 election. Another new map, based on new census data, will be used in the 2022 election.

Like this post? Sign up for our Daily Update here.
Douglas Tallman

About Douglas Tallman

Reporter with 35 years experience throughout Maryland. Reach me at dtallman@mymcmedia.org or via Twitter at @MCM-Doug


| Comments are closed.

Engage us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter