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Tennessee's 6th congressional district: Wikis


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Tennessee's 6th congressional district
TN06 109.gif
Current Representative Bart Gordon (D)
Population (2000) 632,143
Median income $39,721
Ethnicity 90.3% White, 6.4% Black, 0.9% Asian, 2.6% Hispanic, 0.3% Native American, 0.1% other
Cook PVI R+13

The 6th Congressional District of Tennessee is a congressional district in Middle Tennessee. It currently includes all of Bedford, Cannon, Clay, DeKalb, Jackson, Macon, Marshall, Overton, Putnam, Robertson, Rutherford, Smith, Sumner, and Trousdale Counties, as well as a portion of Wilson County. Democrat Bart Gordon of Murfreesboro has represented the district since 1985. He is the dean (senior member) of Tennessee's congressional delegation.

Two men who would later achieve national prominence in politics represented most of the territory now in the 6th District President James K. Polk and Vice President Al Gore.

Ancestrally Democratic since the days of Andrew Jackson, the 6th has become increasingly friendly to Republicans in the last decade as Nashville's suburbs have spread further into this once-rural district, especially into Rutherford, Wilson and Sumner counties. With close access to interstates 24 and 40, subdivisions are sprouting almost exponentially, fast filling with new economy managers. The district has voted for Republican presidential candidates since 1996, even against Gore in 2000. At the local level, however, politics are somewhat more split. It is one of three districts in the state (the others being the 3rd and 4th) which cannot be considered safe for either party.

After the 2000 United States Census, the Tennessee General Assembly shifted many of the suburban areas--most notably Williamson County, the most Republican county in Middle Tennessee) to the 7th District. Prior to this, it was very likely that the district would fall to a well-financed Republican. However, despite the district's fast growth, it will be difficult to shift more of the district's suburban territory elsewhere due to sluggish population growth in the more rural areas. Even without this to consider, large numbers of conservative voters in the historically Democratic precincts have switched party affiliation in recent times, over issues such as gun control, homosexuality, public campaigns against the tobacco industry and smoking, and support for the military in Iraq. It is within the realm of possibility that when the seat becomes open, a well-financed Republican candidate may eventually mark the end of a nearly two-century-old tradition in this part of Middle Tennessee: electing Democrats to the House.

List of Representatives

Name Took Office Left Office Party District Residence Notes
District created March 4, 1813
Parry W. Humpreys March 4, 1813 March 3, 1815 Democratic-Republican Nashville
James B. Reynolds March 4, 1815 March 3, 1817 Democratic-Republican
George W. L. Marr March 4, 1817 March 3, 1819 Democratic-Republican
Henry H. Bryan March 4, 1819 March 3, 1821 Democratic-Republican
Vacant March 4, 1821 - January 3, 1823 Henry H. Bryan re-elected but failed to qualify for 17th Congress
James T. Sandford March 4, 1823 March 3, 1825 Jacksonian D-R
James K. Polk March 4, 1825 March 3, 1833 Jacksonian Columbia Redistricted to the 9th district
Balie Peyton March 4, 1833 March 3, 1835 Jacksonian
March 4, 1835 March 3, 1837 Anti-Jacksonian
William B. Campbell March 4, 1837 March 3, 1843 Whig Carthage
Aaron V. Brown March 4, 1843 March 3, 1845 Democratic Nashville Redistricted from the 10th district
Barclay Martin March 4, 1845 March 3, 1847 Democratic Columbia
James H. Thomas March 4, 1847 March 3, 1851 Democratic Columbia
William H. Polk March 4, 1851 March 3, 1853 Independent Democrat Columbia
George W. Jones March 4, 1853 March 3, 1859 Democratic Fayetteville Redistricted from the 5th district
James H. Thomas March 4, 1859 March 3, 1861 Democratic Columbia
American Civil War
Sanuel M. Arnell July 24, 1866 March 4, 1867 Unconditional Unionist Columbia
March 4, 1867 March 3, 1871 Republican
Washington C. Whitthorne March 4, 1871 March 3, 1875 Democratic Columbia Redistricted to the 7th district
John F. House March 4, 1875 March 3, 1883 Democratic Clarksville
Andrew J. Caldwell March 4, 1883 March 4, 1887 Democratic Nashville
Joseph E. Washington March 4, 1887 March 3, 1897 Democratic Robertson County
John W. Gaines March 4, 1897 March 3, 1909 Democratic Nashville
Jo Byrns March 4, 1909 March 3, 1933 Democratic Nashville Redistricted to the 5th districti
Clarence W. Turner March 4, 1933 March 23, 1939 Democratic Waverly Died
Vacant March 23, 1939 - May 11, 1939
W. Wirt Courtney May 11, 1939 January 3, 1943 Democratic Franklin Redistricted from the 5th district, Redistricted to the 7th district
J. Percy Priest January 3, 1943 January 3, 1953 Democratic Columbia Redistricted to the 5th district
James P. Sutton January 3, 1953 January 3, 1955 Democratic Lawrenceburg Redistricted from the 7th district
Ross Bass January 3, 1955 November 3, 1964 Democratic Pulaski Resigned after being elected to US Senate
Vacant November 3, 1964 - January 3, 1965
William R. Anderson January 3, 1965 January 3, 1973 Democratic Waverly
Robin Beard January 3, 1973 January 3, 1983 Republican Somerville
Al Gore January 3, 1983 January 3, 1985 Democratic Carthage Redistricted from the 4th district
Bart Gordon January 3, 1985 Present Democratic Murfreesboro


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