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Tennessee's 3rd congressional district: Wikis

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Tennessee's 3rd congressional district
TN03 109.gif
Current Representative Zach Wamp (R)
Population (2000) 632,143
Median income $35,434
Ethnicity 85.9% White, 11.1% Black, 0.9% Asian, 1.6% Hispanic, 0.3% Native American, 0.1% other
Cook PVI R+13

The 3rd Congressional District of Tennessee is a congressional district in Tennessee. It currently includes a north-south strip in the eastern part of the state.

Cities in the district include Chattanooga, Oak Ridge, and Cleveland. Its configuration has remained more or less the same since the 1850s. Currently it includes all of Anderson, Bradley, Claiborne, Grainger, Hamilton, Meigs, Polk, Rhea, and Union Counties, and parts of Jefferson and Roane Counties. The southern counties are connected to the northern counties by a thin strip in Roane County.[1]

The 3rd District is on the dividing line between counties and towns that favored or opposed Southern secession in the Civil War. George Washington Bridges was elected as a Unionist (the name used by a coalition of Republicans, northern Democrats and anti-Confederate Southern Democrats) to the Thirty-seventh Congress, but he was arrested by Confederate troops while en route to Washington, D.C. and taken back to Tennessee. Bridges was held prisoner for more than a year before he made his escape and went to Washington, D.C., and assumed his duties on February 23, 1863; serving until March 3, 1863.

During much of the 20th century, southeastern Tennessee was the only portion of heavily Republican East Tennessee where Democrats were able to compete on a more-or-less even basis. The Chattanooga papers (now consolidated) vigorously printed diametrically-opposed political editorials (the moderate-to-progressive Times and the archconservative Free Press). As late as the early 1990s, Democrats held about half, perhaps more, of the local and county offices in the region.

This balance was upset in favor of the Republicans, beginning in the late 1950s, when rural and working-class whites began defecting from their historic Democratic preferences in favor of candidates such as Dwight Eisenhower, Barry Goldwater, George Wallace, Tennessee governor Winfield Dunn, Ronald Reagan, and two Chattanoogans, U.S. Representative LaMar Baker and Senator Bill Brock. The district has not supported a Democrat for president since 1956, and even then its support was almost entirely attributable to the presence of then-Senator Estes Kefauver as vice presidential candidate; Kefauver had represented the 3rd from 1939 to 1949. Although conservative Democrat Marilyn Lloyd (the widow of a popular television news anchorman in Chattanooga) held the district's seat for 20 years, area Democrats became increasingly unable to build upon her popularity, and slowly began losing even county and local offices that they had held for generations. Democrats still remain competitive in some local- and state-level races. However, even moderately liberal politics are a very hard sell, and most of the area's Democrats are quite conservative on social issues.

The northern counties have predominantly voted Republican since the 1860s, in a manner similar to their neighbors in the present 1st and 2nd districts. However, Democrats have received some support in coal mining areas (dating from the Great Depression). Also, in the years since World War II, the government-founded city of Oak Ridge, with its active labor unions and a population largely derived from outside the region, has been a source of potential Democratic votes.

The 3rd District is home to several fundamentalist Protestant denominations and colleges, contributing to the area's pronounced social conservatism.

Republican Zach Wamp of Chattanooga has represented the 3rd District since 1995. After Wamp's January 2009 announcement that he would run for Governor in 2010 instead of seeking re-election, several candidates announced campaigns for the seat. As of March 2010, the Republican field included former state party chairwoman Robin Smith, Air Force Captain Rick Kernea, Tommy Crangle, Chattanooga attorney Chuck Fleischmann, Bradley County sheriff Tim Gobble, Art Rhodes, and Van Irion. Democratic candidates were Paula Flowers of Oak Ridge, a former member of Governor Phil Bredesen's cabinet, and former Libertarian Party member Brent Benedict, who won the 2006 Democratic primary for the seat but lost the general election to Wamp. Mark DeVol and Greg Goodwin are running as independents.[2] [3][4]

List of representatives

Name Took Office Left Office Party District Residence Notes
District created March 4, 1805
William Dickson March 4, 1805 March 3, 1807 Democratic-Republican Redistricted from the At-large district
Jesse Wharton March 4, 1807 March 3, 1809 Democratic-Republican
Robert Weakley March 4, 1809 March 3, 1811 Democratic-Republican
Felix Grundy March 4, 1811 March 3, 1813 Democratic-Republican Redistricted to the 5th district
Thomas K. Harris March 4, 1813 March 3, 1815 Democratic-Republican
Isaac Thomas March 4, 1815 March 3, 1817 Democratic-Republican
Francis Jones March 4, 1817 March 3, 1823 Democratic-Republican
James I. Standifer March 4, 1823 March 3, 1825 Jacksonian D-R Sequatchie Valley
James C. Mitchell March 4, 1825 March 3, 1829 Jacksonian Athens
James I. Standifer March 4, 1829 March 3, 1833 Jacksonian Sequatchie Valley Redistricted to the 4th district
Luke Lea March 4, 1833 March 3, 1835 Jacksonian Hawkins County
March 4, 1835 March 3, 1837 Anti-Jacksonian
Joseph L. Williams March 4, 1837 March 3, 1843 Whig Knoxville
Julius W. Blackwell March 4, 1843 March 3, 1845 Democratic Athens
John H. Crozier 1845 1849 Whig Knoxville
Josiah M. Anderson March 4, 1849 March 3, 1851 Whig Jasper
William M. Churchwell March 4, 1851 March 3, 1853 Democratic Knoxville Redistricted to the 2nd district
Samuel A. Smith March 4, 1853 March 3, 1859 Democratic Cleveland
Reese B. Brabson March 4, 1859 March 3, 1861 Opposition Chattanooga
Vacant March 4, 1861 - February 25, 1863 George W. Bridges elected but unable to take seat after being taken prisoner by the Confederate Army
George W. Bridges February 25, 1863 March 3, 1863 Unionist Athens Seated February 25, 1863 after escaping Confederate prison
American Civil War
William B. Stokes July 24, 1866 March 3, 1867 Unconditional Unionist Alexandria
March 4, 1867 March 3, 1871 Republican
Abraham E. Garrett March 4, 1871 March 3, 1873 Democratic Livingston
William Crutchfield March 4, 1873 March 3, 1875 Republican Chattanooga
George G. Dibrell 1875 1885 Democratic Sparta
John R. Neal March 4, 1885 March 3, 1889 Democratic Rhea County
H. Clay Evans March 4, 1889 March 3, 1891 Republican Chattanooga
Henry C. Snodgrass March 4, 1891 March 3, 1895 Democratic Sparta
Foster V. Brown March 4, 1895 March 3, 1897 Republican Chattanooga
John A. Moon March 4, 1897 March 3, 1921 Democratic Chattanooga
Joseph E. Brown March 4, 1921 March 3, 1923 Republican Chattanooga
Sam D. McReynolds March 4, 1923 July 11, 1939 Democratic Chattanooga Died
Vacant July 11, 1939 - September 13, 1939
Estes Kefauver September 13, 1939 January 3, 1949 Democratic Chattanooga
James B. Frazier, Jr. January 3, 1949 January 3, 1963 Democratic Chattanooga
Bill Brock January 3, 1963 January 3, 1971 Republican Chattanooga
LaMar Baker January 3, 1971 January 3, 1975 Republican Chattanooga
Marilyn Lloyd January 3, 1975 January 3, 1995 Democratic Winchester
Zach Wamp January 3, 1995 Present Republican Chattanooga

References

  1. ^ Third District map
  2. ^ 3rd District hopefuls tout finances, AllBusiness.com website, attributed to Chattanooga Times Free Press, October 17, 2009
  3. ^ Tom Humphrey, Congressional candidate money notes, Humphrey on the Hill, Knoxville News Sentinel website, October 15, 2009
  4. ^ Joe Lance, What Kind of Democrat Will Win the Third District Primary?, September 28, 2009

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