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Robert J. Garagiola
New map, new politics in Western Md.
New map, new politics in Western Md.

With a bit of math and a few clicks of a mouse, state Democrats transformed a once-sleepy congressional district in Western Maryland last week into one of the most closely watched political battlegrounds in the nation. Hours after Gov. Martin O'Malley signed his controversial redistricting plan into law, potential candidates and powerful third-party groups began jockeying for position in the redrawn 6th District, which now stretches from the state's western border to the suburbs of Washington. Not only will the race put Maryland in the national spotlight for the 2012 election, it will give state voters a hand in deciding the balance of power in Congress at a critical time for the...