James said he and other minority-rights advocates will meet with O'Malley on Wednesday.

The more immediate fight, however, will take place during next week's special session in Annapolis. Edwards and others said they are lobbying members of the Legislative Black Caucus. But state Sen. Catherine E. Pugh, chairwoman of the caucus, said the group has not taken a position on the map.

Pugh, a Baltimore Democrat, said the group's executive director is reaching out to members to informally gauge their opinions. The group will meet Saturday in Annapolis to vote on the map and determine whether they will offer amendments.

The caucus has 34 members in the House of Delegates and nine in the Senate.

Unlike most legislation, whatever redistricting measure O'Malley ultimately submits must be approved by an "extraordinary majority," or three-fifths of the members in each house, because it will be introduced as an emergency bill. The procedural move allows it to become law the day O'Malley signs it.

The higher threshold means the bill can pass in the House if 13 Democrats vote against it — assuming that all Republicans also reject it. In the Senate, the plan can lose six Democratic votes.

At least one reliable supporter — Sen. Ulysses Currie, a Prince George's Democrat — is not likely to be present for the vote because he is on trial in Baltimore on corruption charges.

Edwards, who met with O'Malley on Monday, said she believes that state lawmakers could accomplish both goals — targeting Bartlett and protecting minority voters — by making a few subtle changes.

She suggested that Bartlett's district would remain competitive if it included portions of northern Montgomery County and Democratic-leaning areas of Frederick County, a shift she said would enable her to continue to maintain a foothold in Montgomery.

"The governor has the power to satisfy what I think are Democratic values in honoring minority voters and also the political goals" of increasing the number of Democrats in the delegation, Edwards said. "I would like us to not do something that would undermine or dilute the interest of minority voters."

john.fritze@baltsun.com

annie.linskey@baltsun.com

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