While Bates said she too believed the new boundaries of District 9A were drawn for Watson or another Democrat, she added, "It still has potential for Republicans."

In addition to District 9A and 9B, Shields, the Republican Central Committee chairwoman, said she thought Republicans could pick up another House seat in District 12.

While Bobo's district tends to be more liberal, Shields said the change could provide an opening for a Republican candidate, since the southwestern Baltimore County District 12A tends to lean conservative.

"I'd love to pick up another delegate seat," she said, adding that the central committee will begin seeking out potential candidates for the next election, though she said she has no one specific in mind.

"I don't think it's going to be a cakewalk" for Democrats, she said of the new plan in Howard.

While Republicans might be eyeing Bobo's seat, the Columbia delegate said she would not be deterred by running a campaign across two counties.

"It does not discourage me," Bobo said. But she said it would affect how a campaign would have to be run.

And while she said her own district is pretty liberal compared with the Baltimore County side, she said, "There have been times where I have been the only Democrat voting with the Republicans on an issue."

She said, "I don't shy away from hard work and controversial things," though she declined to say whether she has any plans to run in the next election.

In addition to becoming an at-large district, the 12th could gain some Columbia precincts.

"I'd pick up new precincts in east Columbia I've never represented," said Sen. Edward J. Kasemeyer, a Democrat. "It's not too drastic of a change, pretty good for me," he said.

jkanderson@baltsun.com

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