|Redistricting plan adds more of Shelby County to Stephen Fincher’s 8th Congressional District |
|Posted: Monday, January 9, 2012 11:22 pm |
|By RICHARD LOCKER |
Nashville Bureau chief
NASHVILLE (AP) — U.S. Rep. Marsha Black-burn’s 7th Congressional District — which currently includes Germantown and much of Collierville and Bartlett — would move completely out of Shelby and Fayette counties under proposed new congressional redistricting plans released today by the Tennessee legislature.
In return, the 8th Congressional District now represented by Rep. Stephen Fincher will move much deeper into eastern Shelby County than it currently does and the Memphis-based 9th Congressional District will extend upward to include the northwestern corner of Shelby County.
State House Speaker Beth Harwell said the congressional map “is a concept map” that will be circulated to legislators for review. The maps won’t become final until the state Legislature acts on them.
For 30 years, Shelby County has been divided into three congressional districts but the new plan, if it passes, would pare that down to two.
The 7th District, which has been represented by Blackburn, a Republican, since 2002, would extend only as far west as Hardeman County. Its West Tennessee counties would include Hardeman, McNairy, Chester, Hardin, Henderson, Decatur and Benton Counties.
The 8th District, which currently extends into five Middle Tennessee counties, would be entirely west of the Tennessee River under the new plan. In addition to eastern Shelby County, it would include Tipton, Fayette, Haywood, Madison, Lauderdale, Dyer, Obion, Lake, Weakley, Henry, Carroll, Gibson and Crockett Counties. It has been represented by Fincher, a Republican, since he won election in 2010 and was previously held by Democrats.
By adding much more of Republican East Shelby, the changes could make it easier for a candidate from Shelby County to win the 8th District seat.
The 9th District is heavily Democratic.
The Legislature is required to redraw legislative and congressional districts after the new U.S. Census data is released every 10 years to adjust for shifting populations. Published in The Messenger 1.9.12