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Republican-drawn legislative maps are coasting to passage in Tennessee Senate

Blaise Gainey | WPLN News

The newly drawn Tennessee district maps have flown through legislative committees on party-line votes. The Republican-led state Senate could pass the maps Thursday.

Voting rights advocates have asked the General Assembly to consider keeping communities whole. However, Republicans proposed a congressional map that splits historically democratic Davidson and Shelby counties, among other changes.  

Sen. Jack Johnson, R-Franklin, chairs the redistricting committee. 

“I think there’s benefit there in terms of having that representation, and that consistent representation, of urban and some rural. Some have more rural than others but it just makes sense,” said Johnson.

But Democrats don’t agree. Maps released by the Democratic Party kept Davidson and Shelby mostly intact.  

Blaise Gainey | WPLN News
Middle Tennessee NAACP Vice President holds up a sign reading “[Stop] These Racist Maps” in the Senate Judiciary Committee as they take vote on district maps that have only gotten approval from the Republican Party.

Jimmie Garland, vice president of the Middle Tennessee NAACP Chamber, says the maps aren’t good government.  

“Everything that is wrong is not illegal. There is a moral propensity in leadership to actually retain power by doing the wrong thing,” said Garland.

Today was the last opportunity for public comment. The full Senate is expected to vote on the maps Thursday. 

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