Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam approves House, Congressional redistricting map

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam approves House, Congressional redistricting map

January 26th, 2012 by Andy Sher in Local - Breaking News

Republican Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam

Republican Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

NASHVILLE - Republican Gov. Bill Haslam today approved the state House and Congressional redistricting map that already has caused one veteran House Democrat to throw in the towel.

The map will whittle minority Democrats' strength in the General Assembly even more.

Although Haslam has not approved the Senate redistricting map yet, Sen. Roy Herron, D-Dresden, announced he will not run again, ending a 26-year career in the General Assembly, first as a state representative and later in the state Senate, representing a rural West Tennessee area.

Last week, state Rep. Harry Tindell, D-Knoxville, announced he would not seek re-election.

In a news release, Herron said he will head the Ned McWherter Center for Rural Development, helping to expand efforts to help people attend college.

"I am blessed to represent the most wonderful people on earth," Herron said in the release. "The people who have let me work for them as their representative and senator are my teachers, friends, and many are like family.

"I'm excited about working with them and other Tennesseans to help more young people go to college and help our state grow and gain good-paying jobs."

The center was created in 2008 with the help of former Democratic Gov. Ned McWherter of Dresden. Herron won a 1986 special election to fill McWherter's House seat and was later elected to the Senate.

In 2010, Herron briefly ran for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination before bowing out to make an ill-fated bid in Tennessee's 8th Congressional District. He lost to Republican Stephen Fincher.