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From the Desk of
County Commissioner Blaine Young

(11/11) On September 29 a column of mine was published in about the upcoming congressional redistricting. At the time, although it was clear the Democrats were going to try to get one more congressman in the House of Representatives, it was not then clear how they would go about it.

Well, it is now.

In that earlier column I wrote the following:

"I may be in the minority, but I think they are going after us. I think they will target the 6th District by adding pockets of Montgomery County and try to make it a Democrat majority district. I hope I am wrong because such a district would not really reflect the views of those of us here in Frederick County or our neighbors both east and west. However I think such a move could backfire on the Democrats."

Unfortunately, I was right. But I think I may also have been right when I wrote the following a little later on:

"Just because a district is a Democrat majority district does not mean that it will vote for any Democrat the powers-that-be tries to shove down their throats."

Again, I may be in the minority, but I think the Democrats might have screwed this one up. In their crusade to get one more Democrat majority congressional district, I think they have instead put two districts in play. I donít think either the 6th or the 8th is a safe seat for a Democrat. And if the rumors are true, that the current congressman from the 8th District, Chris Van Hollen, is none too pleased by the new map, things may be a lot more interesting a year from now than the brain trust in Annapolis expects.

In my view the congressional races in the 6th and 8th District next November will be all about turnout. The 8th District has gone from a very safe seat for Representative Van Hollen, concentrated solely in Montgomery County, to a district that now has most of Frederick County (with the exception of Frederick City, Urbana and Brunswick) and most if not all of eastern and southern Carroll County. These obviously are not hotbeds of support for Democrat candidates.

If the voters of Frederick and Carroll counties take issue (as I expect they may) with a candidate who is usually seen on TV only in the company of Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and with a strong Republican turnout in the presidential election to oust the current occupant of the White House, a Republican turnout may swamp the votes Mr. Van Hollen expects from Montgomery County, and he could be in trouble.

The new 8th District is the home to a number of Republicans who have been waiting for Roscoe Bartlett to retire in the old 6th District, but would now have to run against Mr. Van Hollen in the 8th. This is going to be a political battle worth watching.

In the new 6th District, the Democrats have added northern and western Montgomery County to the City of Frederick, Urbana, Brunswick and all of Washington County, Allegheny County and Garrett County.

Again, as with the new 8th District, the thinking in Annapolis is that the new voters from Montgomery County and the more Democrat leaning Frederick City will take care of those nuisance Republicans in the western part of the state. I know a lot of people in Frederick City, Urbana, Brunswick, Damascus and other areas of northern Montgomery County, and I do not see them toeing the Democrat party line simply because they are told for whom to vote. I think this district is also in play, and a strong Republican candidate could give the handpicked liberal Democrat, Sen. Robert Garagiola from Montgomery County or Sen. Granola Bar as I call him, a real race for his money.

The current 6th District should have been left alone. I am saddened because the changes may dilute our voice in Washington, and just be another attack by our Democrat state leaders on rural Maryland. So, much for the "One Maryland" concept that the Governor promotes. If anything Frederick County deserves two congressional representatives not Montgomery County.

If nothing else, it will give us two races to watch instead of one. And hopefully our liberal Governor will eat crow with his gerrymandering.

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