NASHVILLE - A state Senate Democrat announced Thursday he won't seek re-election in the wake of Republican-drawn redistricting maps that already have prompted a House Democrat to throw in the towel.
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.
The first GOP-led redistricting of House, Senate and congressional districts in Tennessee history is expected to whittle minority Democrats' strength in the General Assembly even more.
Republican Gov. Bill Haslam on Thursday signed into law the state House and congressional redistricting maps.
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.
In 2010, Herron briefly ran for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination before bowing out to make an ill-fated bid for Tennessee's 8th Congressional District seat. He lost to Republican Stephen Fincher.
GOP maps also place Reps. Tommie Brown, D-Chattanooga, and JoAnne Favors, D-Chattanooga, into the same district. Sen. Andy Berke, D-Chattanooga, will see his district become more Republican with the inclusion of part of Bradley County. Berke is weighing a race for mayor of Chattanooga.
Still unsigned by Haslam is the state Senate map, which hit a bump after Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, R-Collierville, offered an amendment that inadvertently left Tipton County out of his own district.
Senators this week corrected the mistake and repassed the redistricting plan.