Jan 13, 2022 - Politics

Blue Nashville to be split into three red congressional districts

Tennessee's new congressional maps to split Nashville into a seahorse-looking district
Map courtesy of the House Select Committee on Redistricting

Nashville will be split between three conservative congressional districts, according to a map released Wednesday by Republican lawmakers.

Why it matters: The map sets the stage for a new political reality in the state capital, which has had Democratic representation in Congress for decades.

  • Under the plan, which is expected to have an easy path to approval, slivers of Davidson County would be lumped together with suburban and rural counties.
  • U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper will be drawn into a district that voted for then-President Trump by about a 9-point margin, according to Cook Political Report editor Dave Wasserman.

Zoom out: Democratic politicians reiterated their outrage, with Rep. Antonio Parkinson, D-Memphis, calling the map "vicious" during a meeting of the House Select Committee on Redistricting.

  • Cooper's former chief of staff Lisa Quigley tweeted that the new districts diluted the influence of Black voters. About 27% of Nashville residents are Black, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

What's next: The Senate today will discuss its parallel redistricting plan. Lt. Gov. Randy McNally's spokesperson Adam Kleinheider tells Axios it will be "substantially similar" to the House version.

  • The final plan will require approval from the General Assembly and Gov. Bill Lee.

District 5: The plan calls for Cooper's district to curl across six counties. It would move to the east and south and include the southern edge of Davidson County. A chunk of western Wilson County and some of Williamson County would also be included, along with Lewis, Maury and Marshall counties.

District 6: Republican Rep. John Rose's redrawn district includes the northeastern part of Davidson County, comprising much of East Nashville and Goodlettsville. It would extend north to the state line and east past Cookeville.

  • 79% white, 9% Black, 8% Hispanic, 1% Asian.

District 7: Republican Rep. Mark Green's new district would be much of western and northern Davidson County, including downtown Nashville. It would extend north, south, and west to include Montgomery and Robertson counties along the northern border and Wayne County along the southern border.

  • 71% white, 16% Black, 7% Hispanic, 2% Asian.
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