Saturday, October 29, 2011

Andy Harris seems content with new Congressional lines

When the new Congressional maps got adopted last week, many Republicans justifiably voiced their concerns. After all, it’s apparent that they will likely lose a seat in Washington . While many have publicly denounced the gerrymandered boundary lines, one elected Republican has only offered scant criticism.

First District Congressman Andy Harris initially lost to Frank Kratovil in 2008. Two years later, the voters overturned themselves by electing Harris. Regardless, many presumed the First District would get drawn more favorably to Democrats through redistricting. In a surprise though, Sixth District Representative Roscoe Bartlett emerged as the vulnerable GOP incumbent. In the process, Harris gained more Republican constituents in his district.

Historically, Eastern Shore voters have distrusted any politician who resides west of the Bay Bridge . In an attempt to alleviate this conc Harris, a Baltimore County resident, purchased a condo in Dorchester County back in 2008. That said, he maintained his residence in Cockeysville . Nonetheless, he could have claimed either as his home depending on how the new boundary lines played out. In the end, both properties remained in the First Congressional District.

In an interview with Easton ’s Star Democrat, Harris praised the new district by saying "My request was to keep the Eastern Shore whole in the district ... And I was pleased to see the new map do that." Likewise, when asked his opinion of the new limits of the First Congressional District as a whole, Harris offered, "It's just much more consistent with the nature of the Eastern Shore ." In fairness, he did express small reservations about the state map in general.

In reality, Harris cannot dislike this map. At the end of the day, the only job any politician truly values consists of the one voters bestow upon them. Therefore, without a formidable primary opponent stepping up, Harris likely cruises to re-election. Thus, it’s unlikely we’ll hear Andy Harris joining the chorus of Republicans demanding intervention from the courts.

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