Tennessee U.S. Congressman Jim Cooper Announces He Will Not Seek Re-Election


Congressman Jim Cooper (D-TN-05) announced on Tuesday that he will not seek reelection.

This comes in the wake of the Tennessee General Assembly’s passage of the new redistricting maps, which split Nashville amongst three congressional districts. Under the old maps, the city of Nashville comprises the bulk of the 5th Congressional District.

Congressman Cooper said:

Today I am announcing that I will not run for re-election to Congress. After 32 years in office, I will be leaving Congress next year.

I cannot thank the people of Nashville enough. You backed me more than almost anyone in Tennessee history, making me the state’s 3rd longest-serving member of Congress. You allowed me to help millions of people while representing our state capital, as well as 30 of our state’s 95 counties.

The statement lays the blame on the Tennessee General Assembly’s new congressional maps for his decision:

Despite my strength at the polls, I could not stop the General Assembly from dismembering Nashville. No one tried harder to keep our city whole. I explored every possible way, including lawsuits, to stop the gerrymandering and to win one of the three new congressional districts that now divide Nashville. There’s no way, at least for me in this election cycle, but there may be a path for other worthy candidates.

I am announcing my decision promptly so that others have more time to campaign. I will return the individual contributions that I have received for this race so that donors can redirect them as they choose.

Congressman Cooper once represented Tennessee’s 4th Congressional District from 1983-1995. He has represented the 5th Congressional District since 2003. It was previously reported that the existing 5th District of Tennessee is considered a Democrat stronghold where President Trump failed to achieve 40% of the vote in the 5th District in either of his two presidential campaigns. Congressman Cooper was unopposed in 2020 and didn’t fail to achieve over 62% in an election since the Republican wave midterm elections of 2010, where his opponent achieved 42.1% of the vote.

Odessa Kelly is a publicly announced candidate in the Democrat primary for the 5th, while Robby Starbuck, Natisha Brooks, and Quincy McKnight have publicly announced on the Republican side. It is expected that more candidates will come forward.

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Aaron Gulbransen is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Rep. Jim Cooper” by Rep Jim Cooper.



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17 Thoughts to “Tennessee U.S. Congressman Jim Cooper Announces He Will Not Seek Re-Election”

  1. […] Republican” seat. Two weeks earlier, on January 25, the incumbent, Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN-5) announced that he would not seek re-election to the seat in the district he has represented since 1993, […]

  2. […] for that run. At that time, Representative Jim Cooper was planning on running for re-election but announced his retirement after the new redistricting maps were approved by the General Assembly. With his […]

  3. Bob S.

    I wrote Sen. Cooper an email when BBB was up for debate hinting that TN is indeed a red state and he could possibly be ousted with the current climate. Good riddance Sen Cooper, you get what you deserve.

  4. 83ragtop50

    So the GOP finally got enough guts to get rid of this bum. It should have happened a decade ago with the last redistricting.

    It would be comic relief, if it were not so sickening, to read Cooper’s whining about being FINALLY run off by redistricting. Reminds me of the liberal Democrat who represented my district when I first moved here. He also read the handwriting on the wall and decided to “retire” rather than absorbing a much deserved shellacking at the ballot box.

    The only person Cooper “served” was himself.

  5. nicky wicks

    why didnt they do the same to coen?

  6. Tim Price

    He’s been there 32 years!

    Poor little thang!

  7. […] Tuesday, incumbent Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN-05) announced he decided against running for re-election in large part due to the redistricting maps making the new 5th District unwinnable […]

  8. Nashville Deplorable

    Make Nashville Great Again!

  9. Jay

    Can they redistrict the guy in Memphis out please.

    1. Randall Davidson

      Well stated Sir, agree 100 percent.

  10. rick

    Well bye and take your brother with you !

  11. Mimi Mayes

    Thank God. Buh bye, Jim.

  12. John

    And even with his departing statement, he still couldn’t tell the truth. That’s a career politician for you.

    Jim, ol’ buddy…don’t let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya.

  13. karen

    Don’t let the door hit your azz on the way out! Great news indeed!

  14. Another one bites the dust!

  15. Truthy McTruthFace

    good riddance

  16. Dan

    Because he knows he will suffer a humiliating defeat. Bye bye.