Congressional Districts

Tennessee Republicans plan to divide Nashville into multiple congressional districts, House Speaker Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) has told the Associated Press.

The full state legislature still must approve redistricting plans, though Republicans control supermajorities in both the House and the Senate.

The splitting of Nashville would likely mean that Republicans would control eight of Tennessee’s nine congressional districts, leaving just one Democratic-leaning seat in Memphis. Longtime U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Nashville) has spent the past several months urging the state legislature not to split his district into parts.

But it’s not just Democrats putting up a fight over the plan. U.S. Rep. Mark Green (R-Clarksville) has protested the proposal, which could mean he loses some of the wealthy, strongly Republican parts of his district.

“I won’t give an exact number, but it’s either two or three,” Sexton tells the AP. “I’ve never bought into the approach that having multiple people represent a big city is a bad thing.”

A Sexton spokesperson confirmed the plan to the Scene. 

“It depends on the election, how people vote,” Sexton adds. “It could become a marginal district on both sides. Elections are crazy. They can swing 10 points, one side or the other.”

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