Maryland’s gerrymandered House defended by DCCC, as group adds state’s lone GOP House member to target list

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Maryland’s gerrymandered House defended by DCCC, as group adds state’s lone GOP House member to target list

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The Maryland congressional map that could wipe out the state’s last GOP House member gained a new legal defender recently in the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee – which on Thursday added that Republican to its list of 2022 targets. 

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), in court filings last week asked to be an “intervenor defendant” in a lawsuit against the congressional map, which the state’s Democrat-controlled legislature approved last month. The map changes Maryland’s 1st Congressional District, which Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md., currently represents, to a Democrat-majority district. 

In a filing, the DCCC argued that it wanted to get involved in the case – which was filed against the Maryland Board of Elections – “to defend its interests in congressional districts in Maryland that will allow Democratic candidates to be competitive.”

An image of the Maryland State House in Annapolis. Democrat state legislators are accused of gerrymandering the state's congressional districts to eliminate the last remaining GOP Houe member in the state. (iStock)

An image of the Maryland State House in Annapolis. Democrat state legislators are accused of gerrymandering the state’s congressional districts to eliminate the last remaining GOP Houe member in the state. (iStock)

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The state election board, the DCCC, said, does “not share Proposed Intervenor’s interest in ensuring its members of Congress have an opportunity to compete in and win congressional elections in properly constituted districts.”

Then just a few days later on Thursday, the House Democrat campaign arm explicitly said in a press release that Harris is in its crosshairs because of the new congressional map.

“MD-01 has been added following the redistricting process in Maryland. President Biden carried the new MD-01 by just over 50%,” the Democratic Congressional Committee (DCCC) said in a press release this week. 

Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md., speaks during a news conference outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Aug. 23, 2021. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced Thursday that it's targeting Harris because his district was switched to a blue-leaning district in the state's redistricting process.

Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md., speaks during a news conference outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Aug. 23, 2021. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced Thursday that it’s targeting Harris because his district was switched to a blue-leaning district in the state’s redistricting process.
(Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

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Republicans for months have argued that the new Maryland congressional map constitutes unfair partisan gerrymandering. Indeed, it was given an “F” by the Princeton Gerrymandering Project.

And those critics say the actions of the DCCC, which is represented in the lawsuit by high-profile Democrat attorney Marc Elias, further prove that the redistricting process was unfair and explicitly meant to favor Democrats. 

“The leadership of the Maryland legislature can try to hide behind their well-funded DC allies, but they can’t hide from the truth,” Fair Maps Maryland spokesman Doug Mayer said this week. “Gerrymandering is wrong, they are clearly guilty of it, and they will reap the whirlwind soon enough.”

In this Nov. 2, 2020, file photo sunlight shines on the U.S. Capitol building on Capitol Hill in Washington. With the House of Representatives nearly evenly split, both Republicans and Democrats in state legislatures are gerrymandering congressional districts to give their parties an advantage in the midterms. 

In this Nov. 2, 2020, file photo sunlight shines on the U.S. Capitol building on Capitol Hill in Washington. With the House of Representatives nearly evenly split, both Republicans and Democrats in state legislatures are gerrymandering congressional districts to give their parties an advantage in the midterms. 
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

Fair Maps is aligned with Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, who vetoed the congressional map passed by the legislature, but saw that veto overridden by the Democrat supermajority in the statehouse. 

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The Legislative Redistricting Advisory Commission (LRAC), which drew Maryland’s new congressional map, did not respond to a request for comment from Fox News. 

This is the second decade in a row that Maryland’s Democrat-controlled legislature eliminated a Republican congressional district after a Census. They did the same with Maryland’s 6th Congressional District after 2010. That district was GOP-leaning for decades but Democrats won every election there since the new district lines went into effect in 2012. 

Maryland is far from the only state notorious for gerrymandering its congressional districts. Illinois and Texas are among the worst offenders. 

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