A group of five Maryland state legislators, one state senator, and four state delegates, have asked the West Virginian legislation to consider annexing three Maryland counties. The counties are Garrett, Allegany, and Washington.
Leading West Virginian politicians have, in the recent past, suggested that conservative counties in Virginia should join West Virginia to escape far-left policies enacted by the state government of Virginia.
Two letters to the West Virginia legislature, dated October 14th, were signed by State Sen. George Edwards, R-Garrett/Allegany/Washington, and Delegates Wendell Beitzel, R-Garrett/Allegany, Jason Buckel, R-Allegany, Mike McKay, R-Alleghany/Washington, and William Wivell, R-Washington.
One of the issues is that the congressional district six, a former conservative stronghold that includes Garret, Allegany, and Washington, was very heavily gerrymandered in 2010. In a study done in 2012, it was found to be the ninth “least compact” congressional district in the USA. Critics say the district was redrawn to intentionally sideline conservative rural voters.
In 2013, a large group of conservative activists created the “Western Maryland Initiative,” which called for five rural Maryland counties to form a brand new state. This would be harder to pull off because it would increase the Senate by two Republicans. All Democrats would strongly oppose this. Moving the three countries from Maryland to West Virginia would be complicated, but more realistic than forming a new state.
Maryland also has a long-standing historical secessionist movement on the eastern side of the state. The so-called Eastern Shore or Delmarva secessionist movement goes back to the 1770s.