NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP, abc24.com) - The state Senate has approved new boundaries for Tennessee's nine congressional seats.
The chamber voted 24-9 Friday to approve the map passed by the House a day before. The measure now heads to the governor for his signature.
Republicans rejected efforts to redraw the lines for the 9th District in Memphis, where Democratic U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen has complained that the new boundaries would remove all the major Jewish institutions and much of the Jewish vote from his district.
Republican Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris of Collierville said that the new district lines are less divisive, because Shelby County will now only be represented by two congressmen, instead of three.
The Senate also voted 23-10 to approve new House districts that the lower chamber passed earlier.LINK | View the Congressional State Map (PDF)
Congressman Cohen released the following statement on the Tennessee General Assembly’s vote to split the 9th Congressional District:
"Today the Tennessee Senate rubber-stamped the Congressional redistricting plan passed by the state House yesterday. I am disappointed that the General Assembly chose to split the city of Memphis, dividing citizens with common interests, by moving longtime 9th Congressional District citizens along the Poplar corridor into the largely rural 8th Congressional District which stretches up to the Kentucky border. I have long touted Team Memphis because we must work together to represent our city’s best interests. While the General Assembly’s actions in dividing our city seem to callously disregard our shared history and needs, I refuse to abandon my long-time constituents along the Poplar corridor whom I’ve represented for many years in both the State Senate and while in Congress. For the remainder of my third term, I will continue to fully represent those citizens and, thereafter, I will continue to look to their needs in every way possible. I will never abandon the Memphians who have been drawn out of the 9th Congressional District. All Memphians share the best wishes for our city and we shall remain Team Memphis.
"Nevertheless, beginning on November 6, I look forward to representing the citizens of the newly drawn District. I’ve long represented a portion of Cordova and I will now have the honor of representing greater Cordova. While I’ve never officially represented Millington, I was called upon by the citizens there to provide assistance at the times of the recent floods and the tornado and I was happy to personally assess the damage and lend my full aid to Millington. I’ve also worked to address post office issues in Millington. I am particularly pleased that I will be representing the Millington Naval Base. Any Congressperson would be proud to have a military facility in the District and I am very pleased that I will be able to represent the fine service men and women who selflessly serve our country, both in the command structure and among the rank and file service people. While I have many friends in Millington and Cordova, I look forward to meeting new constituents and addressing their needs and concerns."