After looking at the map, I've gone through each incumbent Democrat's district and spelled out what these new lines actually mean for their re-election chances. These opinions are my own, based on my knowledge of the state. I don't have any info other than what's on the GA's website. By my calculation, we have 4-net losses in the House. This, however, does not include possible pick-ups, which I will discuss in a future post. I will do the same for the Senate tomorrow.
From East to West:
(District numbers reflect the new numbering)
District 13: Harry Tindell
Rep. Tindell's district is still contained within Knox County, but he's lost a good portion of his people to fellow Democrat, Joe Armstrong. It looks like Tindell took in some of South Knox, which is not exactly D territory.
PREDICTION: Toss-Up (If Tindell runs)
District 15: Joe Armstrong
Rep. Armstrong's district is largely the same. He gets a boost from some of Rep. Tindell's Democrats, but they'd be hard pressed to screw the only AA rep in upper-east Tennessee.
District 28: Tommie Brown & JoAnn Favors
Reps. Brown & Favors (both D's) are hitched together in the new district 28. This Hamilton County district is overwhelminly African American, but only one of these two ladies will make it out of the primary. With Republican districts surrounding them, it's unlikely that one could just move over into another district and still win.
PREDICTION: Solid-D (Favors) w/ 1 net dem loss.
District 31: Jim Cobb & Bill Harmon
Reps. Jim Cobb & Bill Harmon are hitched together in the new district 31. Cobb, the Republican Chair of Government Operations, and Harmon, a Democrat & former Transportation Committee Chair with $156,000 in the bank, will both have plenty of money to fight out this contest. Harmon's former district had Grundy & Marion Counties, both traditionally Democratic, that are now gone. While the new district is Bledsoe (evenly split) and Rhea, which Cobb currently represents, plus Sequatchie (Harmon Country). My guess, Harmon is a tough SOB whose not afraid of a fight. This will be a tough race, but I'd rather be Harmon.
District 41: John Mark Windle
Colonel Windle, as he's known in most parts, got a pretty good deal. His district loses half of Fentress County, but gains all of Jackson County. Politicos may rember that Jackson County is one of very few to go for Barack Obama in 2008. That being said, Windle--who won re-election in 2010 while serving overseas--is a shoe-in for re-election this fall.
District 43: Charlie Curtiss
Rep. Charlie Curtiss' district loses eastern Putnam & VanBuren Counties, but gains all of Grundy. Grundy is solid-D territory and this should be good new for Rep. Curtiss, who's also a tough SOB and a hell of a campaigner.
District 44: Mike McDonald
Rep. McDonald is well-liked at home and in Nashville, but he got the screws put to him by fellow Sumner County represenative, Debra Maggart. The map apprears to draw McDonald out of the White House area (D's) and into some of Maggarts white-bread suburbia. This is not good for Rep. McDonald, who already reprsented a Lean-R district. He's a fighter, but this will be an up-hill battle.
District 50: Gary Moore
Rep. Moore, the new AFL-CIO President, has a fight ahead. The new map takes aways his white Democrats in north Nashville and dumps a whole load of Bellvue Republicans in the south end to make up the difference. (How nice of Rep. Odom-a Harwell ally-to give those to him!) It's an up-hill fight, but Moore will have the money and manpower of every union in the state behind him. He's not a quitter and I predict he'll be back.
District 51: Mike Turner
Rep. Mike Turner, Caucus Chairman and media darling, gets a sweet heart of a deal. He sheds his R's to the laughable Jim Gotto. In return, he gets East Nashville, downtown and Germantown. Absent a primary challenge, which would be ill advised against the liberal caucus chairman, he will be fine.
District 54: Brenda Gilmore
Rep. Gilmore's district moves around, but remains solidly democratic and about 60% African American. She' won't have any problem this fall.
District 55: Gary Odom
Rep. Gary Odom, the former House Democratic Leader, did very well in redistricting. He gave his Bellvue Republicans to fellow Democrat Gary Moore and picked up some liberal white folk around Hillsboro. Looks like his cozy relationship with Speaker Beth Harwell paid off for him, if not his fellow Nashville Democrats. Absent a primary challenge, he should be back.
District 52: Sherry Jones & Mike Stewart
Reps. Jones & Stewart are hitched together in what I believe to be the new district 52. The district is solid-D, but only one can make it out of the primary. My prediction, these two liberals work things out where one moves over to the newly formed district 59, which is being called an "opportunity district" because it has a 55% minority population, including about 18% hispanics.
District 53: Janis Sontany
Rep. Sontany gets really jossled around, but I still look for this to be a D district. It's got a lot of what looks like Nolensville, which should be good for her. She'll have to get aquainted with some new folks, but we'll hold the day.
District 58: Mary Pruitt
Rep. Pruitt, who narrowly defeated the young Democrat Stephen Turner in 2010, has an even more AA district than before. She loses downtown and Germantown to fellow Democrat Mike Turner, so I doubt she sees a primary challenge this time. Either way, the district is ours.
District 67: Joe Pitts
Rep. Joe Pitts, the Vice Chairman of the Democratic Caucus, is better off than he was before. Sharing Montgomery County with Ethics Committee Chairman Curtiss Johnson (R), means the two made a swap. Johnson gets Pitts' D's, while Pitts takes Johnson's R's. This should make 67 a solid-d, keeping the well-liked Pitts in his seat.
District 69: David Shepard
Rep. Shepard has a very good district. He loses the Republican parts of Dickson County, gains all of Hickman, then takes in the city of Columbia in Maury. This should boost both his D and African American numbers. He's a good fundraiser, a solid campaigner and a local business owner. He should be fine.
District 71: Eddie Bass & Vance Dennis
Rep. Bass (D) & Dennis (R) are hitched together in the new district 71. Rep. Bass is at a clear disadvantage here, having previouly represented Marshall & Giles Counties. This new district encompasses all of Hardin (Dennis' home) and Wayne Counties, while taking in the southern slivers of Lawrence & Giles (Bass' home) counties. My guess is that Eddie Bass, a former Giles County Sheriff, decides to go back to local politics. In the alternative, he could move to Marshall County and run in the newly opened district 92, which has no incumbent.
PREDICTION: Solid-R w/ 1 net-dem loss
District 74: John Tidwell
Rep. Tidwell is a happy-go-lucky guy, well liked by his constituents. He's a reliable D and gets a pretty good district. Houston & Humphreys are both D-counties, while the part of Montgomery he gains is about an even split. Tidwell should do fine, but he hasn't had an opponent in years. Time to dust off the campaign boots.
District 80: Johnny Shaw
Rep. Shaw is a real character and well liked at home. He survived a tough challenge in 2010 from a right-wing nut and should be safe in 2012. This district is federally protected under a 1990's court ruling that says you must have a majority-minority district outside the urban centers, so there wasn't much Republicans could do. If AA turn-out stays up, Shaw will be fine.
District 82: Craig Fitzhugh
Rep. Craig Fitzhugh, the House Democratic Leader and former Finance Chairman, faired pretty well in this process. His district sheds Dyer County (lots of R's) and picks up Haywood (lots of D's). Fitzhugh's home, Lauderdale, is the largest population center and went overwhelmingly for him in the 2010 cycle. Crockett County, home of Congressman Stephen Fincher (R), is in this district, but has the smallest population. Fitzhugh is liked at home and in Nashville. He should have little problem this fall.
District 81: Speaker Jimmy Naifeh
Speaker Emeritus Naifeh is the liberal lion of Tennessee. He's served for nearly 40 years, 18 of those as Speaker. On his way out, he managed to screw Jason Mumpower out of the Speakership in favor of the more moderate Kent Williams. In short, Naifeh is a legend that Republicans want to put to rest. By taking Haywood County from him and making Tipton County whole, they may do just that. The new district includes Atoka and Munford, two white-flight suburbs of Memphis, which gives the 81st a decidedly conservative bent. However, the County Mayor and Sheriff are Democrats, so nothing is impossible. Especially if Naifeh, a hard-nosed professional with money to burn, decides to stay in the race.
District 84: Joe Towns
Rep. Joe Towns has little to no change. He should coast to re-election.
District 85: Johnny Turner
Rep. Turner, widow of former Rep. Larry Turner and alleged cousin of Rep. Mike Turner, should be fine. Her south Memphis district is solid-d. She's already faced a primary challenge, so I don't foresee one in 2012.
District 86: Barbara Cooper & G.A. Hardaway
Reps. Cooper & Hardaway are hitched together in the new district 86. The western Shelby County district is composed mostly of areas previously represented by Cooper, including downtown, with just a single sliver drawn east to take in Hardaway's home. This will be a huge fight between the outspoken Hardaway & the equally tough Cooper. Either way, Dems hold the seat, but lose a D seat in the process.
PREDICTION: Solid-D (Cooper) w/ 1 net-dem loss
District 87: Karen Camper
Rep. Camper is well-liked and works hard in her community. She's not paired with anyone else and should be fine, sans a serious primary challenge, which I find unlikely.
District 88: Larry Miller
Rep. Miller, the former State & Local Government Chair, should be fine. He gets jossled around a little, but nothing major.
District 90: John DeBerry
Rep. John DeBerry, a sponsor of legislation to ban gays from adopting in TN (sorry, that slipped out), did well in redistricting. He's not paired with anyone and gets some mid-town white D's. He should coast to re-election, unless the Shelby County Democrats wise up and find a primary challege for this DINO.
Distirct 91: Lois DeBerry
Rep. Lois DeBerry, who just recently beat pancreatic cancer for the SECOND time, will be safe after redistricting. Sources inside the capitol tell me she actually got to draw her own district, before any other member in Shelby County. She's widely known to be a mentor to Speaker Beth Harwell, having supported her charter schools bill while Dems where still in charge, and enjoys respect from both parties. She's a great lady and I know we'll see her back in 2013.
District 93: Mike Kernell
Rep. Mike Kernell still represents a majority African American district near the University of Memphis. He's the second most senior member of the House and I predict we'll see him in the General Assembly until they have to wheel him out.
District 98: Antonio "2-shay" Parkinson & Jeanne Richardson
Reps. Antonio Parkinson, a promising young African American, and Jeanne Richardson, a liberal GLBT/enviromental/children's advocate, are hitched together in this district. It is overwhelmingly African American and surely favors Parkinson. With mid-town now split to the four winds, Richardson is literally a woman without a district. While the district is solid-d, it will ultimately mean one less Dem.
PREDICTION: Solid-D (Parkinson) 1 net-Dem loss