O'Malley alters legislative redistricting plan for 42nd District

The legislative redistricting plan that Gov. Martin O'Malley introduced Wednesday, Jan. 11 to the General Assembly features several changes from the initial proposal unveiled last month by the Governor's Redistricting Advisory Committee — including further alterations to the 42nd District in Baltimore County.

"They did make some changes, and move some precincts out of 42 back into (District) 8, (and) from District 7 into 42," said Del. Bill Frank, who represents the 42nd District. "But essentially, 85 percent of the (advisory committee's) original plan remains intact."

And, said Frank, "the four incumbent Republican delegates are still in the same subdistrict (42B)."

Frank, fellow 42nd District Delegate Susan Aumann, along with District 5 Delegate Wade Kach of Cockeysville and District 8 Delegate Joe Boteler of Carney — all Republicans — would be in the District 42B, a two-delegate subdistrict of the larger 42nd District, in the governor's newest proposed map.

If there are no further changes to the map — and Frank said history shows there rarely are — it will become law on the 45th day of the legislative session, and go into effect for the 2014 election.

That would mean that Frank, Aumann, Kach and Boteler will continue to represent their current districts for the next three years — then would have to face one another if they choice to run for the two seats allotted for 42B.

The changes made by O'Malley since the last map was first released in December now extend District 42 north to the Pennsylvania border, but no longer stretch the district to the Harford County line.

Two northern Baltimore County precincts that were slated to be redistricted into District 7 were instead added to District 42, while four precincts that border Harford County and were slated to be a part of District 42 were restored to District 7.

In the Parkville area, one District 8 precinct that was slated to become a part of the 42nd District was swapped back into the 8th, in exchange for another.

And one small change was made within the 42nd District — a single precinct between North Charles Street and Bellona Avenue that was to be a part of subdistrict 42A will instead be a part of 42B.

Sen. Jim Brochin, who currently represents the 42nd District, said even with the changes, running for re-election in his district come 2014, will be a "challenge."

Brochin, a Democrat, will see the area he represents expand from his heavily Democratic Towson base up into rural northern Baltimore County, which is traditionally a more Republican area.

"My challenge is just getting to meet everybody and letting them know what my fiscal record has been," Brochin said Wednesday, Jan. 11. "Not only do I oppose tax increases, I filibuster with the Republicans to stop them."

While he believes his record will help him with the right-leaning residents of northern Baltimore County, Brochin indicated that being "independent-minded" and voting on issues caused him to "pay the price," even as a Democrat.

"Nothing worthwhile comes easy, and this is worthwhile," Brochin said. "The way I vote, if I'm going to keep my seat, I'm going to have to work for it."

Copyright © 2018, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad