Gov. Larry Hogan on Monday signed a new Maryland congressional map into law, ending legal battles over the congressional maps that had left Maryland’s campaigns in limbo. Hogan (R) agreed to enact the new map after the Maryland attorney general’s office said it would abandon its appeal of a Maryland judge’s ruling that found the previous map was an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander. And Republican plaintiffs agreed to abandon challenges to the new map, which Democrats in the General Assembly passed last week. Hogan called the agreement a “tremendous victory for democracy.”
He said the map is “not perfect” but is a “huge step in the right direction.”
“It is miles away from the incredibly gerrymandered map that was thrown out by the court,” Hogan said.
The agreement means that, after months of legal wrangling, Maryland’s congressional map is set for the upcoming midterm elections and for the next decade.
Also on Monday, a special magistrate for the Maryland Court of Appeals recommended that the newly drawn state legislative map — the subject of separate legal challenges — should stand.
The new congressional map could have big implications in the upcoming midterm elections, shifting the outlook for some congressional races in Maryland at a time when national Democrats are at risk of losing control of Congress. The new map — with significantly more-compact districts — is likely to create seven Democratic seats, one of which would be more competitive in Western Maryland, and preserves one safe Republican seat on the Eastern Shore.
The map that was rejected by Anne Arundel County Senior Judge Lynne Battaglia would have preserved all seven Democratic seats and put the only Republican, Rep. Andy Harris, in jeopardy.
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