When you think of Maryland in politics, you probably associate it as blue as states could possibly be. That is exactly what Democrats want you to believe. But Maryland is like a lot of other blue states where cities can outvote more rural areas. That’s not to say that Maryland doesn’t have very liberal counties. Montgomery County and Prince George County are the two counties surrounding DC. Both are very liberal because big government is good for business in these counties. Montgomery County is one of the America’s richest counties. The Democrats in Maryland have skillfully used these counties to gain and retain congressional seats.
Maryland is by far the most gerrymandered state in the entire country. For those that do not know, Maryland local governments and school systems operate by counties. Maryland is more rigid about counties than your average state. So it would make sense for a whole county to be in a district where possible. Montgomery County is connected to multiple districts including MD-6. District 6 was the longtime the seat of Roscoe Bartlett. In 2010, Governor Martin O’Malley gerrymandered Maryland even further targeting Bartlett’s seat. O’Malley redrew the district lines, removing conservative Carroll County and inserting Silver Spring, MD. In 2012, a referendum on these lines passed.
O’Malley’s grand scheme was successful but the battle to reverse his gerrymandering and that of his predecessors has been taken up by Republicans. Governor Larry Hogan needs to get reelected to redraw the districts. No doubt, District 6 will be the first to be redrawn. Incumbent John Delaney is not running for reelection to consider running for governor. So far, no strong candidates have entered the race to replace him. Andrew Duck, who failed to defeat Roscoe Bartlett multiple times, has announced his candidacy. The Democrats will likely favor the more serious option of Maryland House Delegate Majority Leader Bill Frick who has started fundraising and has a campaign website. Rich Democrat, David Trone spent $15 million losing the MD-8 primary may jump in this race. Then there’s also the possibility of Aruna Miller, a top state Democrat running as well. On the Republican side, the only official candidate is Matt Mossburg. While he as an interesting story of overcoming addiction, he doesn’t seem very inspiring for conservatives.
The consequences are high for Maryland Democrats in 2018. If Hogan loses, the seat will likely be theirs for a long time. But Larry Hogan is well-liked. He has a good chance of winning reelection. That is what makes this race interesting. If Hogan wins, he will redraw the district in 2020. If the Republicans hold the district, Hogan won’t have to flex as much political muscles to redraw the line. If the Democrats hold the seat, they will fight tooth and nail to retain their seat along with their other gerrymandered districts.
My prediction: Democrats will pour minimum $10 million into the primary with party boss Bill Frick or multimillionaire David Trone winning the nomination. I think another Republican will enter and win nomination only to lose in the general election. But I also believe Governor Hogan retains his office making for a very intense political battle to come with the un-gerrymandering of Maryland. The stakes are high which is why the state’s top Democrats are hovering over this race.