Maryland Democrats drew the state’s convoluted congressional districts with an eye toward ousting a longtime Republican incumbent and replacing him with a Democrat, former Gov. Martin O’Malley has acknowledged as part of a high-profile legal challenge to the maps winding its way through federal court. The acknowledgment that state Democrats were working in 2011 to add a seventh member of their party to the House of Representatives, widely understood at the time but seldom conceded publicly even now, comes as Republican Gov. Larry Hogan is advocating for a nonpartisan redistricting commission, ostensibly to curb partisan gerrymandering.
The lawsuit, filed in 2013 by a former federal employee, is shedding new light on the machinations that took place behind the scenes as Democrats sought to oust Republican Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett from the seat he had held for nearly two decades.
“That was my hope,” O’Malley told attorneys in a deposition. “It was also my intent to create … a district where the people would be more likely to elect a Democrat than a Republican.”