With the election being over, it seems that everyone has an opinion. Like noses, everyone has one and they’re all slightly different. Here’s my take, starting with our local races.

I’m applauding the voters for the decision to elect Maria Oesterreicher to the Circuit Court of Carroll County. Her credentials are outstanding. As for the school board, I would have preferred Mr. Lord’s continuing on the board but since all of the candidates were completely qualified I have no problem with the voters’ decision to go with three new members. Since most of the other offices up for election were unopposed or also had two qualified candidates, I'm fine with the electorate's decisions.


The one race where I was hoping against hope for a different outcome was for the House of Delegates.

I truly wished that one of the current slate, mostly Del. Haven Shoemaker, would be replaced by Emily Shank. Shoemaker’s name-calling and derogatory commentary towards his detractors during the campaign made him, to me, unsuited for the post.

Statewide, the contests went as most predicted. However, I challenge voters in the 1st Congressional District to name one positive thing that Andy Harris has done for the district, other than registering as a Republican, during his tenure in Congress. Few bills introduced, most without co-sponsors and not even getting out of committee, and none passed. He has wasted our tax dollars simply by being there. Although I’m a fan of Sen. Ben Cardin, I was hoping that the independent candidate, Neal Simon, would replace him. A new, younger voice would have been a positive change.

Nationally, the president’s constant negative campaigning looks like it was successful in slowing the “blue wave,” at least in the Senate. There the Republicans held on to their majority; by how much is still to be determined. The House of Representatives, however, has been flipped to a Democratic majority. The split Congress really doesn’t bode well for getting any really meaningful legislation on to the president.

On another item, that’s been the subject of this column in the past, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the 6th Congressional District had been gerrymandered to reasonably be assured that a Democrat would be elected to that seat. Furthermore, the court has ruled that the district must be redrawn before the 2020 election. Attorney General Brian Frosh has decided to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court. My take is that he should not go on with the appeal. If the 6th District is redrawn, by doing so the rest of the districts would also have to be redrawn.

Gov. Larry Hogan has been pushing for a bipartisan committee to be appointed to redraw the districts. This is required by law to be done after the 2020 census. It could be done early, with the approval of the state legislature, to comply with the court’s decree. Unfortunately, the legislature’s leadership wants to tie any bipartisan drawn map to the actions of other states dealing with redistricting. Simply because other states have not apportioned their congressional districts without gerrymandering is no reason for Maryland to be saddled with at least one district where the legislature picked the voters for their candidate rather than the voters picking the candidate of their choice.

One district in particular, rather than being compact and contiguous looks, like an ink blot test across the state map. The 3rd Congressional District runs from the Towson area of Baltimore County through a small sliver, often just one block wide, of eastern portions of Baltimore City and then south across Anne Arundel County to the Annapolis area. One judge even called it “a broken winged pteradactyl” sprawled across the state. Does it make any sense that the 1st District runs from Ocean City to Carroll County? The 2nd and the 4th districts aren't much better.

I and a small group of friends could do the redistricting in a couple of hours if given the population data, a large map and a couple of rulers. I’ll submit this as an unofficial application to be a part of such a committee.