The new, statewide, Republican-proposed House & Senate redistricting plan, dubbed “The Regional Integrity Plan,” was unveiled by Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey last Wednesday, December 4, revealing that State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver would lose Macon County in the 40th District, but would pick up Trousdale County and a portion of Sumner County, in the event it is adopted.According to the newly proposed map, Macon County would become part of the 38th District, clustered with Clay, Pickett, Scott and the Northern region of Fentress County. The 38th District is currently represented by Republican Kelly Keisling.
The plan would have to be enacted by the State Legislature before it could take effect. State Senator Mae Beavers would continue to represent Macon County as part of the 17th district under the Senate redistricting map. If the plan goes into effect, the Senator would lose Trousdale County and the single precinct she represents in Sumner County.
While redistricting is required every ten years following the National Census, the proposed plan marks the first-ever, Republican-led redistricting in Tennessee.
The proposed plan has caused some stir among other political parties, with leading Tennessee House Democrats threatening a lawsuit. Those not in favor of the new House boundary lines, believe they pit pairs of Democratic incumbents against each other, especially in districts currently represented by African Americans and make it hard for Democrats to win seats in the Tennessee Legislature.
Republicans have responded by saying their plan is, on all accounts, ‘fair and legal,’ and are necessary due to the demographic shifts across the state.
In a press release held by Lt. Governor Ramsey, he stated that he is looking “forward to concluding the redistricting process swiftly and efficiently as soon as we go into session next week.”
To see how the redistricting plan would affect all counties in Tennessee, visit http://www.capitol.tn.gov/house/docs/Statewide010412.pdf for a map of the House of Representatives district divisions or http://www.capitol.tn.gov/senate/redist/Plan%20H%20Middle.jpg for the Tennessee Senate Redistricting Plan.