Tennessee's 6th congressional district
|Tennessee's 6th congressional district|
Tennessee's 6th congressional district – since January 3, 2013.
|Current Representative||Diane Black (R–Gallatin)|
|Population (2017 (estimate))||745,077|
The district is located in north-central Tennessee and borders Kentucky to the north. It is currently composed of the following counties: Cannon, Clay, Coffee, Cumberland, DeKalb, Fentress, Jackson, Macon, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, Robertson, Smith, Sumner, Trousdale, White, and Wilson. It also contains very small pieces of Cheatham and Van Buren.
Much of the Sixth District is rural and wooded. It is spread across the geographic regions known as the Cumberland Plateau, the Highland Rim, and the Central Basin. The area is known for its waterfalls, such as Burgess Falls and Cummins Falls.
With close access to interstates 24, 40, and 65, subdivisions are sprouting almost exponentially, fast filling with new economy managers. Recently, many companies have opened either manufacturing or distribution centers in the 6th District. This includes Amazon and Bridgestone-Firestone in Lebanon, gun manufacturer Beretta in Gallatin, and clothing manufacturer Under Armour in Mt. Juliet.
Politically speaking, the region was traditionally a "Yellow Dog Democrat" district. However, the district began shifting rightward as Nashville's suburbs bled into the district. It supported Bill Clinton in 1992, partly due to Gore's presence as Clinton's running mate. However, it hasn't supported a Democrat for president since. By the turn of the century, it was obvious that the Democrats would have a hard time holding onto the district once longtime Democratic incumbent Bart Gordon retired.
Gordon retired in 2010, and Black—then a state senator—won the seat in a landslide, proving just how Republican this district had become. The 2010 redistricting made the district even more Republican, even with its longtime base, Murfreesboro, being drawn out of the district. Since then, no Democrat has won an entire county within the district in any presidential, gubernatorial, senate, or congressional election.
Prior to the 1980 census, when Tennessee picked up a district, most of what is now the 6th district was in the 4th district.
During the 1940s, this area was represented by Albert Gore, Sr. of Carthage. Gore was elected to the United States Senate in 1952, where he was instrumental in creating the Interstate Highway system.
From 1953 to 1977, the area was represented by Joe L. Evins of Smithville. Evins's nephew, Dan Evins, was the founder of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store restaurant/retail chain. Cracker Barrel's headquarters are still located in Lebanon.
In 1976, Evins was succeeded by Al Gore, future Vice President and son of Albert Gore, Sr. He was representing the area when much of it was moved into the present 6th District.
Shortly following the redistricting into the 6th District, Gore was elected to the United States Senate. He was then succeeded by former Democratic State Chair Bart Gordon of Murfreesboro. Gordon held the post for the next twenty-six years, relatively unopposed. The only year he faced much opposition was 1994, when attorney Steve Gill ran against him. Gordon defeated Gill by only one percentage point.
Diane Black was elected in the Republican landslide of 2010 when Democrat Bart Gordon decided to end a 26-year career in Congress. Black's victory marked the first time that much of the district had been represented by a Republican since 1921, and for only the second time since Reconstruction.
List of representatives
|District created March 4, 1813|
|Parry W. Humpreys||March 4, 1813 – March 3, 1815||Democratic-Republican||Nashville|
|James B. Reynolds||March 4, 1815 – March 3, 1817||Democratic-Republican|
|George W. L. Marr||March 4, 1817 – March 3, 1819||Democratic-Republican|
|Henry H. Bryan||March 4, 1819 – March 3, 1821||Democratic-Republican|
|Vacant||March 4, 1821 – January 3, 1823||Henry H. Bryan re-elected but failed to qualify for 17th Congress|
|James T. Sandford||March 4, 1823 – March 3, 1825||Jacksonian D-R|
|James K. Polk||March 4, 1825 – March 3, 1833||Jacksonian||Columbia||Redistricted to the 9th district, US President 1845–1849|
|Balie Peyton||March 4, 1833 – March 3, 1835||Jacksonian|
|March 4, 1835 – March 3, 1837||Anti-Jacksonian|
|William B. Campbell||March 4, 1837 – March 3, 1843||Whig||Carthage|
|Aaron V. Brown||March 4, 1843 – March 3, 1845||Democratic||Nashville||Redistricted from the 10th district|
|Barclay Martin||March 4, 1845 – March 3, 1847||Democratic||Columbia|
|James H. Thomas||March 4, 1847 – March 3, 1851||Democratic||Columbia|
|William H. Polk||March 4, 1851 – March 3, 1853||Independent Democrat||Columbia|
|George W. Jones||March 4, 1853 – March 3, 1859||Democratic||Fayetteville||Redistricted from the 5th district|
|James H. Thomas||March 4, 1859 – March 3, 1861||Democratic||Columbia|
|American Civil War|
|Sanuel M. Arnell||July 24, 1866 – March 3, 1867||Unconditional Unionist||Columbia|
|March 4, 1867 – March 3, 1871||Republican|
|Washington C. Whitthorne||March 4, 1871 – March 3, 1875||Democratic||Columbia||Redistricted to the 7th district|
|John F. House||March 4, 1875 – March 3, 1883||Democratic||Clarksville|
|Andrew J. Caldwell||March 4, 1883 – March 3, 1887||Democratic||Nashville|
|Joseph E. Washington||March 4, 1887 – March 3, 1897||Democratic||Robertson County|
|John W. Gaines||March 4, 1897 – March 3, 1909||Democratic||Nashville|
|Jo Byrns||March 4, 1909 – March 3, 1933||Democratic||Nashville||Redistricted to the 5th district|
|Clarence W. Turner||March 4, 1933 – March 23, 1939||Democratic||Waverly||Died|
|Vacant||March 23, 1939 – May 11, 1939|
|W. Wirt Courtney||May 11, 1939 – January 3, 1943||Democratic||Franklin||Redistricted from the 5th district, Redistricted to the 7th district|
|Percy Priest||January 3, 1943 – January 3, 1953||Democratic||Columbia||Redistricted to the 5th district|
|James P. Sutton||January 3, 1953 – January 3, 1955||Democratic||Lawrenceburg||Redistricted from the 7th district|
|Ross Bass||January 3, 1955 – November 3, 1964||Democratic||Pulaski||Resigned after being elected to US Senate|
|Vacant||November 3, 1964 – January 3, 1965|
|William R. Anderson||January 3, 1965 – January 3, 1973||Democratic||Waverly|
|Robin Beard||January 3, 1973 – January 3, 1983||Republican||Somerville|
|Al Gore||January 3, 1983 – January 3, 1985||Democratic||Carthage||Redistricted from the 4th district|
|Bart Gordon||January 3, 1985 – January 3, 2011||Democratic||Murfreesboro||Retired|
|Diane Black||January 3, 2011 – Present||Republican||Gallatin||Incumbent|
Historical district boundaries
- "Partisan Voting Index – Districts of the 115th Congress" (PDF). The Cook Political Report. April 7, 2017. Retrieved April 7, 2017.
- Martis, Kenneth C. (1989). The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.
- Martis, Kenneth C. (1982). The Historical Atlas of United States Congressional Districts. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.
- Congressional Biographical Directory of the United States 1774–present
- Political Graveyard database of Tennessee congressmen
- Congress.com: Tennessee Congressional districts