After being split into three congressional districts for 10 years, Howard County will lose Representative Tom McMillen, D-4th.
Representatives Benjamin L. Cardin, D-3rd, and Beverly L. Byron, D-6th will share Howard County representation under the new state redistricting plan.
"I'm real happy about this," said Charles A. Acquard, chairman ofthe Columbia Council and a member of the county Democratic Central Committee. "I like it, personally, because he (Cardin) is going to be my congressman."
On the council, Acquard represents Kings Contrivance village, which had been split from the rest of Columbia. The new map puts the bulk of Columbia, into Cardin's 3rd District.
Columbia's northernmost village, Dorsey's Search, will continue to be represented by Byron, who also will continue to represent five Western Maryland counties. Byron will lose a Columbia election precinct in the Atholton area on the southern edge of Columbia.
The biggest change will occur in the North Laurel and Savage areas, which will switch from McMillen to Byron.
"He (McMillen) represented us very well," said Agnes Riley, a 66-year-old secretary who lives and works in Savage.She said she voted for him because he seemed to care about her community.
"We do get to see him; he makes it a point to get around," she said, adding that she was worried that Savage might not get much attention compared to Byron's Western Maryland constituency.
Equally concerned was John Hansen, the Columbia Council member who represents Harper's Choice village, part of which was switched from Cardin's district to Byron's.
"Given Cardin's more liberal voting record, Ithink he more closely represents the political views of citizens of Columbia, and Harper's Choice in particular," Hansen said.
Cardin said that while he was pleased with the way the lines were drawn for Columbia, he said clipping off two of his precincts "doesn't make a lot of sense."
The fact that before 1982 she had represented all ofHoward County spoke for itself, said Byron.
"I think you can lookand see that the majority of people in Howard County feel they have been well represented," she said.
Indeed, most of the areas ceded to Byron have turned increasingly Republican in their politics of late, a fact pointed to by state Del. Martin Madden, a Republican who with Delegate John Morgan unseated two incumbent Democrats last year.
"Beverly Byron better represents the views of my constituents than Steny Hoyer ever would have," said Madden, referring to Prince George's County's Democratic congressman.
Under one plan considered, Hoyer would have represented all of Howard County, along with parts of Prince George's and Southern Maryland.
As Delegate Robert H. Kittleman, R-14B, explains it, "when they realized they had created a district that Hoyer couldn't win in, they backed Hoyer out of Howard County so fast it would make your head swim."
Delegate Virginia M. Thomas, D-13A, said she never took that proposal very seriously, however,and mourned the county's loss of a third congressman.
"I am disappointed that we're losing Tom McMillen . . . we had three and I frankly think that's good for the county," she said.
REDISTRICTING: WHO'S AFFECTED
Here are the neighborhoods switching congressional districts:
* Allview Estates: from 4th (McMillen) to 3rd (Cardin)
Western Harper's Choice, from 3rd (Cardin) to 6th (Byron)
Most King's Contrivance, from 4th (McMillen) to 3rd (Cardin)
Glenmar, Hunt Country Estates and Montgomery Run, from 3rd (Cardin) to 6th (Byron)
* Guilford: from 4th (McMillen) to 3rd (Cardin)
* Hammond Village: from 4th (McMillen) to 6th (Byron)
* North Laurel: from 4th (McMillen) to 6th (Byron)