Governor Larry Hogan Announces Appointments to Emergency Commission on Sixth Congressional District Gerrymandering
Appoints 2 Democrats, 2 Republicans, 2 Independents from Citizen Applicants
ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Larry Hogan today announced the appointments of six citizen members to the Emergency Commission on Sixth Congressional District Gerrymandering: Maury S. Epner, Esq.; Deborah Lundahl; Christopher Howard; Luis T. Gutierrez, Jr.; Matthew Douglas, Esq.; and Kathleen Jo Parsons Tabor, Esq.
Governor Hogan announced the creation of the emergency commission in response to a federal court ruling in the case of Benisek v. Lamone in November 2018 requiring the state to redraw the 6th Congressional District. The Emergency Commission on Sixth Congressional District Gerrymandering will be charged with developing new boundaries in an open and transparent manner to address all constitutional violations; comprised of nine members, including three registered Democrats, three registered Republicans, and three registered voters not affiliated with either party; and the commission’s meetings are required to be open to the public and live-streamed.
“Free and fair elections are the very foundation of American democracy and the most basic promise that those in power can pledge to the citizens we represent,” said Governor Hogan. “This nonpartisan redistricting commission will result in a fair, open, and transparent redistricting process for the sixth congressional district.”
In November 2018, the governor named Judge Alexander Williams, a registered Democrat, and Walter Olson, a registered Republican, as co-chairs, and named Ashley Oleson, an unaffiliated voter, to serve on the commission. The governor also announced that six additional members would be chosen from the public, which have now been selected:
Maury S. Epner, Esq., a registered Republican, lived in the 6th Congressional District for more than 30 years, and has served as a federal prosecutor, private practice attorney, and former adjunct professor of law at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. He currently resides in Montgomery County.
Deborah Lundahl, a registered Republican, currently resides in Frederick County where she serves on the County Ethics Commission, and works as an accounting manager for Redeemer Lutheran Church and program administrator for Building Veterans. She is a former public information officer for the Carroll County Government and nursing home program coordinator for the Montgomery County Board of Elections.
Christopher Howard, a registered Democrat living in Anne Arundel County, is a software engineer with Clarity Business Solutions in Severna Park, Md. and an adjunct professor of Computer Science and Technology at University of Maryland University College. His career focus is supporting technology development in defense and aerospace industries, and he is a member of local chapter of National Society of Black Engineers.
Luis T. Gutierrez, Jr., a registered Democrat, has over 20 years of experience in biopharmaceutical and medical technology industries, and is currently a self-employed consultant to medical product developers. He is also the former president, CEO and board member of Theranostics Health, Inc. (now Avant Diagnostics). He resides in Montgomery County.
Matthew Douglas, Esq. is registered as an unaffiliated voter and currently resides in Montgomery County. He works as a senior policy analyst for the Federal Housing Finance Agency, has experience as a civics teacher, and has worked in the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office.
Kathleen Jo Parsons Tabor, Esq. is registered as an unaffiliated voter and works as a solo practitioner attorney in Elkridge, Md. She serves as a gubernatorial appointee on the Maryland Horse Industry Board and is founder and chair of the Agriculture Law Section of the Maryland Bar Association. She currently resides in Howard County.
These commission members were chosen after an extensive review of over 300 citizen applications received through the commission’s online portal. Any Maryland voter who was registered with the same party, or not affiliated with the Republican or Democratic parties, for a minimum of three years was eligible to apply, provided they were not a candidate or member of Congress, an officer or employee of a political party or committee, a staff member for the governor, legislature, or Congress, or a current or former registered lobbyist. Applications were reviewed by Judge Williams, Mr. Olson, and Ms. Oleson, who then submitted recommendations to the governor.