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Hogan to hold news conference on redistricting reform

Gov. Larry Hogan will hold a news conference Thursday in Annapolis to roll out a plan to reform   the way Maryland draws its political districts.

The Governor's Office on Wednesday did not provide further details of Hogan's proposal. But in his State of the State Address, he said he would issue an executive order creating a bipartisan commission to examine Maryland's redistricting process.

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Maryland's congressional district map is considered one of the most heavily gerrymandered in the country. Former Gov. Martin O'Malley and the Democratic leaders of the General Assembly drew it with the goal of winning another House seat for their party. Their efforts were successful in increasing the Democratic advantage in Maryland's House delegation from 6-2 to 7-1.

The Democratic leaders also drew a state legislative map that has helped them maintain overwhelming majorities in both chambers of the General Assembly.  Across the country, Republican leaders have done much the same thing in states where they dominate.

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Maryland Republicans, along with some Democrats, have proposed several reforms intended to lessen the influence of politics in drawing district lines. Hogan has previously endorsed the idea of leaving redistricting to an independent commission, and Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford recently addressed a rally demanding an end to gerrymandering in Maryland.

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