Our View: Redistricting plan doesn't smile on Nash


Rocky Mount Telegram

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

You can usually count on a GOP-led General Assembly to tick off the Democrats whenever it puts together new legislative districts, but who knew the Republicans would eat their own?

N.C. Rep. Jeff Collins, a three-term Republican lawmaker from Nash County, has sold his house, plans to move out of his district and told Telegram staff writer Lindell Kay he doesn’t know if he’ll ever run for office again.

N.C. Sen. Rick Horner, a first-time GOP legislator who represents Wilson and Nash counties, says the revisions to his district make it pointless for him to seek re-election. Nash would no longer be part of his base, a shock, considering Horner’s many years of service on the Nash-Rocky Mount Board of Education.

N.C. Sen. Angela Bryant, a Democrat, also would see major changes. She would represent Nash County, but also a large part of Johnston County. Bryant has been a longtime faithful servant for the Twin Counties, serving on Rocky Mount City Council, then the N.C. House and now the N.C. Senate.

The changes are likely, given the redistricting proposals released by GOP leaders Monday. A federal court ordered the legislature to come up with new maps because the old ones stacked districts in a way that heavily favored white Republicans.

It would be a shame for Nash County to lose any of our current delegation in Raleigh. Bryant, Collins and Horner all have spoken up for local interests, not always in accordance with our views, but they certainly know Rocky Mount, its people and its issues.

It’s hard to fathom this. But if Horner makes good on his plans to leave after this term and Bryant runs into tough competition from an opponent outside of Nash, there’s a good chance Nash County would have no representation in the N.C. Senate after next year’s election.

That would be more than a blow to Democrats or Republicans. It would be a huge disappointment for Rocky Mount and the Twin Counties.