New district lines lead to gerrymandering concerns

Ex-House candidates level accusations after Rep. Neal Collins served on committee

By Ron Barnett
Staff Reporter

COUNTY — State Rep. Neal Collins of Easley is being accused of gerrymandering, after the redistricting committee he served on redrew House district boundaries that left his two-time opponent Allan Quinn in another district.

Quinn isn’t the only former candidate making such allegations.

Phillip Bowers, who ran in the 2020 Republican primary for an open seat in the Clemson-area district that was won by Jerry Carter, also found his residence assigned to a different district in the process. Carter was not on the redistricting committee.

Quinn and Bowers had pitched themselves as more conservative alternatives to Collins and Carter, and both told the Courier they believe the new district lines were redrawn specifically to eliminate them from contention in the 2022 GOP primaries.

Both lived close to the edge of the district.

“(Collins) did that so that I could not run against him,” Quinn said. “I’m not the only one he did it to.”

Collins said he can’t comment specifically on those allegations because of pending legal action.

But he said the redistricting process was driven by demographic changes and the mathematical domino effect that forces adjustments in adjoining districts to keep the populations among

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