Regina Quick told Oconee County Republicans earlier this month that the first thing she would do if she is elected to represent the county in the General Assembly in 2013 is introduce legislation to reverse redistricting from 2011 and make Oconee County whole in the 119th House District.
She said she would accomplish this by increasing the size of the Clarke County population in her district, the 117th, and by moving the three precincts in Oconee County now part of the 117th to the 119th.
Quick did not mention her opponent, incumbent Rep. Doug McKillip, by name in discussing the district change she proposed.
She probably didn’t need to.
McKillip, who ran as a Democrat in 2010 unopposed in the current 115th House District, switched parties before the General Assembly met in 2011 and then worked with House leadership to create a district for himself likely to vote Republican in the November 2012 election.
In the process, he jettisoned precincts in Clarke County that had a Democratic voting history and added parts of Oconee, Barrow and Jackson counties with Republican voting histories to create the new 117th District.
Three Oconee Precincts Moved
All of three northern Oconee County precincts–Athens Academy, Malcom Bridge and Bogart–were taken from the old 113th House District, in which all of Oconee County fell, and were moved to the new 117th District.
In turn, Clarke County voters were moved to the new 119th, which is split about evenly between Clarke and Oconee counties.
Oconee County had been whole in the old 113th House District, now represented by Chuck Williams, a Republican from south of Watkinsville.
Quick was direct in attacking McKillip for switching parties. She was defeated by McKillip in 2006, when she was the Republican nominee and McKillip was the Democratic nominee. E.H. Culpepper ran as an independent.
“I've not changed my party affiliation,” she said at the Feb. 16 meeting, held at the Watkinsville Community Center. She noted that she was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 2008 while McKillip was supporting Democratic candidate Barack Obama.
I was not able to attend the meeting, but Russ Page, active in farmland protection and other projects in the county, did attend and made a video recording of the meeting for me.
Quick, an Athens attorney, spoke for about 10 minutes. Page estimated more than 40 people were present.
McKillip did not attend the session, but he has attended Oconee Republican Party meetings in the past and was at the meeting in January.
Back in September, McKillip told the Oconee County Republican gathering that the redistricting outcome would have been worse for the county except for his intervention.
Quick said that the leaders of Oconee County had worked to make Oconee County whole in a legislative district in the past, and, working with the representative of the 119th in the next assembly, she would draft legislation to bring that about again.
Williams did vote for the redistricting plan approved by the General Assembly in its special session in August of 2011, but he said the decisions on redistricting were made before he was elected in a special election and joined the Assembly for the special session.
Oconee County had been split between two House districts in 2002, but all of the county was made part of the current 113th District in 2004.
Quick said she also would work to make sure government stays small and that she would represent the people against government were she elected in the new 117th District.
No one has announced as a Democratic candidate. Quick and McKillip and any other Republican candidates will meet in the Republican primary in July.
The full video of the session is below. It also is available on the Vimeo site of Oconee County Observations.