Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller helped draw the map and voted for it, but he acknowledged that at least one district is "odd shaped" — the 3rd. The district, now represented by Rep. John P. Sarbanes, currently forms a "Z" that crosses the Baltimore region. The new plan retains that shape and then adds a swirl along the coastline that hops over rivers and ends in Annapolis.
Miller said that configuration stemmed from the committee's desire to consider Sarbanes' wishes. "We recognized that Congressman Sarbanes lived in Baltimore County, but wanted to continue to represent the capital city Annapolis, and that was challenging," Miller said.
Asked about that, Sarbanes said in a statement: "Annapolis is an important part of the district I represent, and I expressed that from the outset of this process."
Miller said the panel worked to accommodate other requests, including from Democratic Reps. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger of Baltimore County and Steny H. Hoyer of Southern Maryland. "We recognized the fact that Congressman Ruppersberger, for example, is on the Intelligence Committee," Miller said. "We tried to be sure that he represented both Aberdeen [Proving Ground] and Fort Meade, which was kind of challenging."
About Hoyer, Miller said that the panel "recognized that Congressman Hoyer lives in St. Mary's County and wants to represent Pax River, but also wanted to represent his alma mater, College Park, and that was challenging."
"If you are in public office, you don't want to give up a single precinct," Miller said.
Hoyer said he is "pleased" that he's not seeing any "drastic changes" to his district.