Ketron: Kyle Most Likely State Senator to Lose His Seat in Republican Redistricting

Jeff Woods has done a redistricting speculation piece, a fair chunk of it devoted to the unlikely (I think) prospect that Republicans will carve up the 5th Congressional District in an effort to get rid of Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper.
There’s also some commentary from legislators on the state House and Senate reapportionment. Excerpts:
“We don’t need to get even anymore,” says Sen. Bill Ketron, R-Murfreesboro, who sits on the Senate Republican reapportionment committee. “We won when we were at a disadvantage with the districts the Democrats drew. We beat them at their own game. They’re suffering from that now. There’s no need to pile on at this point.”
Ketron insists redistricting “will be done in a fair manner,” but he admits that “a few Democrats will yell that they’ve been eliminated.” He names (Senate Democratic Leader Jim) Kyle, a 28-year veteran of the legislature, as the most likely senator to be drawn out of his district.
…The towns surrounding Nashville grew the most, with Murfreesboro jumping 58 percent and Clarksville 29 percent. Memphis shrank, meaning the city will lose a Senate seat — and that’s Kyle’s problem.
“I guess I should take it as a compliment that I’m a target,” says Kyle, who is philosophical about his plight. “I don’t know what I’ll do. We’ll just have to see what district they draw for me. My house has got to be in somebody’s district.”
If Republicans decide to dump (House Speaker Emeritus Jimmy) Naifeh and House Democratic Leader Craig) Fitzhugh into the same rural West Tennessee district, it will outrage House Democrats. The likely outcome will be the forced retirement of Naifeh, who probably would cede the seat to the younger Democratic leader.
At age 72, Naifeh is the liberal lion of the legislature. He reigned as House speaker when the Democrats were all-powerful. His party holds him in great affection as a living symbol of glory days, and he is one of the Democrats’ most outspoken critics of the new Republican majority.
Rep. Mike Turner, D-Nashville, said “it would be low-ball” for the GOP to put Naifeh and Fitzhugh in the same district.
“If they end up doing it, they’re doing it totally out of spite,” he huffs.
Asked about Naifeh, Ketron recalls a story he was told by a lobbyist. “He said he told former speaker Naifeh years ago that they didn’t need to do what they were doing to the Republicans [through gerrymandering]. He said it would come back to bite the Democrats in the butt at some point.”
Ketron adds, “I think that day has come.”

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