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54 Percent of Montgomery Residents to Change Districts

New congressional district lines suggest less progressive, less diverse politics.

Gov. Martin O'Malley's new  redistricting map significantly changes congressional district boundaries and local politics. Statewide, roughly 1.6 million people have new congressional representatives. In Montgomery County, redistricting was particularly dramatic with only 46 percent of residents remaining in the same district. Across the state, 70 percent of residents remain in the same district.

"With the new map that's been drawn, we went from most of Montgomery County citizens being in a congressional district with a similar demographic to Montgomery County as a whole, to three congressional districts with compositions very different from the electorate of Montgomery County," said Delegate Alfred Carr, who has been a member of the Maryland House of Delegates since 2007.

"I think it's going to be harder for representatives in Montgomery to take the strong progressive stances that they've taken in the past, as some new district territories are more moderate in their views," said Carr, reflecting on how new lines will likely impact local politics. "All three new districts are between 60 to 70 percent white, so it is also likely that minorities within the county will not be able to have as much influence over elections and choosing the candidate of their choice, whoever that may be. It's also a lot less likely that a candidate of color will be successful in Congress for some years."

Carr voted against the redistricting plan, along with Delegates Ana Sol Gutierrez of Chevy Chase and Luis Simmons of Gaithersburg. They were three of only five Democrats who voted against party lines to express concern over its disruptive impact on communities and voters.

As Montgomery County's population has become more diverse, residents have elected more minorities into leadership positions, and local politicians have come to represent the county's changing demographics. 

Given the climate of national politics, and the intense political maneuvering of both parties for advantage in the upcoming Congressional elections, many politicians have been for prioritizing their own party’s interests over their electorate.

As it stands, Maryland residents are going to have to live with new congressional lines for the next decade, unless a lawsuit challenging new lines moves forward and is supported by courts. 

Not sure if your district has changed? Check this interactive map which allows you to enter your address and find which district you belong to.

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