NASHVILLE - Saying Congress is "broken" and needs repair, state Sen. Eric Stewart of Franklin County announced today he is running for the Democratic nomination in Tennessee's 4th Congressional District.
Stewart, D-Belvidere, promised in a news release to set partisanship aside and work to protect the nation's "commitment to seniors" as well as create jobs to revive the economy and reduce the federal deficit.
"Congress is broken and all we see is fighting, political posturing and gridlock from the folks we sent there to work on our behalf and solve the serious problems we face," Stewart said. "People are struggling. Unemployment remains too high, and our economy is sluggish at best."
The 4th District is currently represented by freshman U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn. DesJarlais, a Marion County physician, ousted incumbent Democrat Lincoln Davis in the 2010 GOP wave that swept both Tennessee and much of the country.
But it remains to be seen what the sprawling district, which includes all of 21 East and Middle Tennessee counties and parts of three others, will look like after when all nine of the state's congressional districts are redrawn by the Republican-controlled General Assembly next year.
The powerful state Senate Republican caucus chairman, Bill Ketron, R-Murfreesboro, has shown interest in moving his home county, Rutherford, into the 4th District. And Ketron has not ruled out a GOP primary challenge to DesJarlais.
Stewart, 39, is finishing up his first term in the Senate and prior to that served as a Franklin County commissioner.
A small businessman, Stewart and his wife, Judy, have two children.