Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Guest Pundit: An Anonymous Legislator Highlights Fallout from MD Redistricting // Who is Leaving the Statehouse?

UPDATE: Yesterday, Maryland Reporter highlighted a few notable redistricting tidbits, including this comment about Mr. Busch's district: 
His new two-member district 30A moves Republican Del. Ron George out of the district where he got more votes than Busch, into another district where George may have to run against other Republicans.
The new district lines will also make it more difficult for Republican Del. Herb McMillan to win reelection since it moves GOP voters south into a heavily Republican single-member district now represented by Republican Del. Bob Costa, chair of the Anne Arundel County delegation now controlled by the GOP.... 
In Carroll County, the new District 5 includes almost all of the county, now represented by Republican Sen. Joe Getty, and packs four GOP incumbent delegates into a three-member district.
Yesterday, Maryland Juice wrote about how House Speaker Mike Busch's legislative district was becoming more Democratic in 2012. We also mentioned that Busch staying in office would reduce opportunities for politicians to move up the leadership ladder in Annapolis. An anonymous legislator has responded with a more nuanced view, highlighting that some politicians will benefit from Mr. Busch's extended stay:
Guest Pundit: Sure, Busch running again is bad for people at the top of the food chain (ie: those whose only real way up is if Busch doesn't stay speaker until 2018). That is why a lot of those people are looking elsewhere: think Kumar Barve, Maggie McIntosh, and Dereck Davis. Those were the three names in the wings for speaker, although Davis is definitely young enough that he'll still be in the running in 2018 if he sticks around.

But Busch running for office again is also good for people in the middle and lower ranks. As people higher up the chain begin leaving because they lack opportunities to move up, that opens up spots for the middle and lower ranks of the Democratic caucus. The Democratic members of the House of Delegates who are thinking of moving on or are rumored to be thinking about it are:
  • Kumar Barve (Majority Leader, running for comptroller)
  • Brian Feldman (Parliamentarian, MoCo Del. Chair, and subcommittee chair on Economic Matters, potentially running for comptroller or taking Garagiola's Senate seat)
  • Galen Clagett (an Appropriations subcommittee chair, potentially running for comptroller)
  • Jon Cardin (a Ways & Means Subcommittee chair, potentially running for comptroller or a.g.)
  • Bill Frick (a Ways & Means Subcommittee chair, potentially running for a.g.)
  • Heather Mizeur (an Appropriations subcommittee vice-chair, running for ?) 
Add to that potential retirements, which could possibly include committee chairs, vice-chairs and subcommittee chairs. Well, you get the picture. Could be part of a larger picture that includes a LOT of transition in the lower ranks of the House in 2014.

Our guest pundit also highlighted other interesting changes around Maryland. We previously noted that GOP Delegate Don Dwyer was receiving a more Democratic District, and our pundit adds some specificity to that claim:
  • Dwyer's new district is almost 60% Dem or 52.5% Obama (these are conservadems). He's likely gone.
  • A pickup opportunity may be in Frederick City, where the new two-person district went almost 60% for Obama, with about 55% Dem performance.
  • Another likely pickup is in 9A, which has been redrawn to be Democratic, but the new district is also a gain for Ellicott City, recognizing their growing importance as a population center.

More on Maryland 2012 redistricting soon!

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