If the Republican-controlled general assembly gets its way with redistricting – and it probably will – Tipton County will be absorbed into the state’s 9th congressional district.
The 9th district currently encompasses most of Memphis and Shelby County with the exception of Bartlett and Germantown and parts of East Memphis. It is the most Democratic-leaning district in the state with a Republican holding the seat for only seven of the last 147 years and has been represented by Democrat Steve Cohen since 2007.
Tipton County and the remainder of Shelby County, plus most of West Tennessee, are part of the 8th congressional district represented by Republican David Kustoff of Germantown. Including the last 11 years, Tipton County has been represented by Republican congressman for only 15 years of the last 100.
Tipton County leans conservative in most elections, choosing the Republican candidate in every presidential election since 2004.
The proposed map, which advanced from the Tennessee House of Representatives redistricting committee Wednesday morning, would add Tipton County from the 8th to the 9th district and would split the only other district represented by a Democrat, which is Davidson County, into three smaller districts.
Cohen, who advocated for making Memphis its own district, released a statement in which he said he was eager to serve his new constituents.
“I look forward to representing the people of Tipton County, where I have many friends and supporters. I have known County Executive Jeff Huffman for many years and will be reaching out to him soon to ask him about the county’s needs and priorities that can be addressed by the federal government.”
Kustoff said nothing has yet been finalized and changes may still take place.
“The redistricting process is never easy, especially for the state legislators who work to draw these maps. There could be changes to the way any of these districts are drawn, and I am going to continue to monitor the process.”
Redistricting, or reapportionment, takes place every decade after the federal census data is reported. The general assembly is required by law to draw political boundaries so that each of the state’s nine districts has an equal number of people.
If approved, the proposal will likely eliminate several Democratic congressmen up for re-election this year.