Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Interesting Story of Tennessee District 8

Via Real Clear Politics:

The 8th District is the northwestern corner of the state. It is the lineal descendent of a district represented by Davy Crockett. In a precursor to later threats made by Hollywood celebrities, he threatened to leave for Texas if Martin Van Buren were elected president; when the Texas Revolution began, he did just that.

Crockett was an anti-Jacksonian and his son, who later represented the district, was a Whig – the district generally sided with the anti-Democratic forces (including one “Know Nothing") up until the Civil War. But it couldn’t quite stomach the Republican Party, and save for one brief episode in 1872, has elected nothing but Democrats ever since. To be sure, these were conservative Democrats in the Southern tradition, like Robert “Fats” Everett and later, John S. Tanner.

Tanner decided to retire this year after two decades in the House. On the Republican side, Republicans nominated farmer/gospel singer Steve Fincher. The Democrats nominated state Senator Roy Herron. Both candidates have raised over a million dollars, which buys a lot of advertising in Jackson. This district is still conservative Democratic at its core and Herron is a good candidate, but in a year like this, the playing field is probably tilted a bit toward Fincher.

So, after decades over a century of Democrat control, my district may very well become Republican. That's gotta sting.