Redistricting will hurt Democrats, Forrester warns

Redistricting will hurt Democrats, Forrester warns

June 9th, 2009 by Cliff Hightower in News

A Republican majority in the state House and Senate in charge of redistricting after the 2010 census could cost Democrats two seats in Congress, the state's Democratic Party chairman said Monday.

"Lincoln Davis is gone," Chip Forrester said. "John Tanner is gone."

Rep. Davis' seat in District 4 and Rep. Tanner's seat in District 8 could disappear from Democratic hands because of the redistricting, Mr. Forrester said, speaking Monday to the JFK Club, an organization associated with the Democratic Party.

When the census is complete in 2011, the Tennessee General Assembly is charged with drawing new lines on congressional and state legislative districts.


Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Chip Forrester outlined goals for the party Monday:

Embrace 21st Century tools such as social networking sites.

Ask Democrats to sign up for these tools.

Ask Democrats to tell friends and family to do the same thing.

Seek donations, even small ones.

With the state's Republican Party taken over by "right-wing zealots," Mr. Forrester said, the Democratic Party has developed a strategy to regain the House.

The House now has a one-member Republican advantage.

"We know we have enough money," Mr. Forrester said. "We don't know if we have enough boots on the ground."

He said the party plans to target eight to 12 state Senate and House seats, while also making sure every state House and Senate seat up for election and held by a Republican has a Democratic challenger.

"They've said we're against guns, against God and for gays," he said. "Those days are over. I'm not going to let right-wing zealots deliver the message."

Chris Devaney, chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party, said the party is in the middle of assessing every Democratically controlled seat and Democrats needed to "watch out."

"The majority of Tennesseans believe in the Republican values of less government and fewer taxes, and it's sorry they're throwing names," he said.