Beaufort News

County council panel begins redistricting work

  • Northern Beaufort County's six County Council members probably will compete for just five seats once district lines are redrawn using 2010 census data. But in this political game of musical chairs, it's not yet clear who will be left standing.
  • Councilman Brian Flewelling presented a map to the county's redistricting committee Friday that would draw his home into Councilwoman Laura Von Harten's district. That would mean a face-off between the two if both seek re-election.

    The proposal is a modification of a plan presented last month by Bobby Bowers, director of the S.C. Budget and Control Board's Office of Research and Statistics.

    Bowers' plan combines two minority-controlled districts -- held by Herbert Glaze and Gerald Dawson -- in an attempt to ensure black representation on the council even as blacks constitute a smaller percentage of the county's population.

    Instead, Flewelling suggested drawing Glaze's residence into his district -- which would be about 25 percent African-American. Flewelling, in turn, would be drawn into the district representing parts of Port Royal and Beaufort, held by Von Harten.

    "That way Mr. Glaze can run as an incumbent in a district," Flewelling said.

    Three proposed maps -- including those advanced by Bowers and Flewelling -- were officially brought under consideration Friday, and more will be discussed as redistricting continues.