The Tennessee State House Select Committee on Redistricting met on Wednesday, releasing the new plan for Congressional redistricting. The plan includes the proposed new maps, which are listed on the committee website.
Tennessee’s current delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives has a partisan breakdown of seven Republicans and two Democrats. Democrat Congressman Jim Cooper’s 5th Congressional District and Democrat Congressman Steve Cohen’s 9th Congressional District currently center on Nashville and Memphis, respectively.
One significant piece of information is that Davidson County, which is currently in the 5th Congressional District, would be split amongst a new 5th, 6th, and 7th congressional districts under the plan. The demographic breakdowns of the proposed maps are provided on the committee’s website.
The new 5th would include includes a portion of Davidson, Williamson and Wilson counties, as well as all of Lewis, Marshall and Maury counties. The current 5th District consists of Davidson and Dickson counties, and part of Cheatham County.
The current demographics of the 5th District are 60.3% White, 25.0% Black, 9.1% Hispanic, and 3.1% Asian. The proposed new 5th Congressional District would have the following demographics, per committee website: 70.86% White, 11.9% Black, 4.25% Asian, and 10% Hispanic.
The new 6th, currently represented by Congressman John Rose, would be made up of all of Sumner, Macon, Clay, Pickett, Scott, Trousdale, Smith, Jackson, Overton, Fentress, Putnam, Cannon, DeKalb, White, Cumberland, and Van Buren, and part of Wilson and Davidson counties. The demographics would be 79.1% White, 9.09% Black, 7.72% Hispanic, and 1.12% Asian.
The current 6th Congressional District is made up of Cannon, Clay, Coffee, Cumberland, DeKalb, Fentress, Jackson, Macon, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, Robertson, Smith, Sumner, Trousdale, White, and Wilson. It also contains very small pieces of Cheatham and Van Buren. The current demographics are: 89.1% White, 4.2% Black, 3.9% Hispanic, and 0.9% Asian.
The new 7th would be made up of Wayne, Decatur, Perry, Hickman, Humphreys, Benton, Dickson, Cheatham, Robertson, Montgomery, Stewart, and Houston counties as well as part of Benton, Davidson, and Williamson counties. The new demographics would be 71.23% White, 16.05% Black, 7.44% Hispanic, and 2.01% Asian.
The current 7th District, represented by Congressman Green, is made up of Chester, Decatur, Giles, Hardeman, Hardin, Henderson, Hickman, Houston, Humphreys, Lawrence, Lewis, McNairy, Montgomery, Perry, Stewart, Wayne, and Williamson. It also includes significant portions of Benton and Maury. Demographics are: 81.0% White, 10.0% Black, 4.7% Hispanic, and 1.8% Asian.
Committee Chair Curtis Johnson gaveled the committee meeting to order and began with the following remarks, “This meeting marks the culmination of the committee’s work on the 2020 redistricting process.” He continued, “Despite the unprecedented delay in the delivery of the census data, this committee has worked diligently and timely to produce a fair and constitutional redistricting plan. I would like to thank each member of this committee for your dedication and participation in this process.”
Before they moved on to congressional redistricting, Chairman Johnson temporarily turned the meeting over to Rep. Marsh in order to move that State Senate redistricting plan proceed along to continue the process.
Once the new maps were revealed and proper discussed occurred, Rep. Marsh made a motion to pass the plan as the official plan for the Select Committee on Redistricting. It was properly seconded and passed via voice vote.
The map plans must be approved by both the House and the State Senate and then signed by Governor Lee before they can take effect.
– – –
Aaron Gulbransen is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network.
Photo “Jim Cooper” by U.S. House of Representatives. Photo “Steve Cohen” by U.S. House of Representatives. Background Photo “Tennessee State Capitol” by Author Unknown. CC BY-SA 3.0.