Cooper, Dean Plea to Harwell: Don’t Carve Up 5th District

Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and Congressman Jim Cooper, both Democrats, are publicly appealing to Republican House Speaker Beth Harwell to make sure that the 5th Congressional District isn’t carved up into chunks by the Legislature’s GOP majority. The move is being widely reported in Nashville media..
From the City Paper: In a letter to Harwell, Dean wrote that while Harwell has made a “commitment to a fair, transparent process,” others such as state Sen. Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro) and Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Chris Devaney have suggested “Davidson County should be divided to achieve particular political goals.”
Dean makes the case severing Tennessee’s 5th congressional district, held by Cooper and encompassing the bulk of Davidson County, could have harmful economic ramifications.
“Splitting Davidson County would not only divide business interests and industry concerns, but would drive a stake in the heart of a cohesive and diverse (ethnically and politically) social and civic unit,” Dean wrote. “In addition, Davidson County’s role as a regional leader could be significantly diminished.”

Also, Cooper and Dean met jointly with the Tennessean editorial board to elaborate on their concerns over redistricting. And WPLN has a story on the matter, including comments from Harwell and House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Turner.
Rep. Mike Turner, who is a Democrat like the mayor, says he can’t imagine Republican Congressmen would want more Democrats in their districts, but…
“More power to them. I welcome it because it gives us a chance to take back more seats. So if they’re smart, they’ll try to consolidate on what they got.”
The GOP currently has more seats than ever in Tennessee, controlling seven of the state’s nine Congressional Districts. With majorities in the state legislature, Republicans are also in charge of redrawing political boundaries.
House Speaker Beth Harwell, a Republican, says outside input is important, but she notes the political interests.
“I know that Congressman Cooper is worried about his job. I understand that. But the bottom line is this is a state’s responsibility. This is an issue of state’s rights.”

2 thoughts on “Cooper, Dean Plea to Harwell: Don’t Carve Up 5th District

  1. Southern Beale

    Um, no honey, this isn’t a “state’s rights” issue! This is determining my representative in the U.S. Congress! Idiot.
    Well, considering how close some of these last elections were that gave the GOP a majority, I’m inclined to agree with Mike Turner. Go ahead, put more Democrats in those Republican districts. Considering how hated the Republican Party is right now, it seems likely that move will backfire.

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