MARYLAND (WDVM) — Governor Larry Hogan’s office announced his plans to approve the new congressional map on Monday. This announcement followed supporters of the original map withdrawing their appeals of a previous decision stating that the new congressional map was unconstitutional.
“This is something that we’ve been focused on for eight years. It’s a tremendous victory for democracy and for free and fair elections in Maryland,” Hogan said in his opening remarks after signing the bill.
A Maryland judge deferred making a ruling on Friday. On Monday, the appeal was withdrawn.
In her 94-page ruling, Judge Lynne Battaglia described the initial map as a “product of extreme partisan gerrymandering.”
Governor Hogan had previously called the map an “egregious violation of the civil rights of the people of Maryland” in a tweet in December.
The initial map approved by Democrats over Hogan’s veto made the lone Republican-held district held by Rep. Andy Harris more competitive. The new map takes away a portion that stretched from the Eastern Shore across the Chesapeake Bay into an area with more Democrats.
Maryland’s highest court has already delayed this year’s primary from June 28 to July 19. Voters will decide all 188 seats in the state legislature, open statewide offices such as governor, attorney general and comptroller, a U.S. Senate seat and all eight congressional seats.
“A number of maps have been thrown out in other states around the country, Republican maps. This is the first time in the United States that a set of Democratic maps have been thrown out for the same reasons,” Hogan said.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.