When my friend Ed Bryant told me he was not running in the 2002 election, and that his spot for the Seventh Congressional District would be open, I filed to run for his open seat. However, when push came to shove, I decided instead to deploy to Afghanistan with my men of the 20th Special Forces. The problem with the 7th is that whoever holds that seat is almost invincible as long as they tow the party line, and no one who is a relative unknown wants to waste money in an already decided race. I don't personally know Congresswoman Blackburn, but as long as she doesn't royally screw up, she's got that seat till she decides to move on.
True X 10:
Blackburn is a joke and a mouthpiece for the Bush administration.
Sad but true, my friends...and all across the country. Which is why SHE won't leave! (what kinda hair-do is that, Marsha? Supercuts, Cool Springs?)
FYI- Tennessee's 7th is one of the most gerrymandered districts in the country (light blue, Middle to West Tennessee). And NO, Democrats are not to blame...hellooooo Texas!
All told, the 10 incumbents raised about $1.8 million during the three months ending Sept. 30, and entered the final quarter of 2007 with about $7.5 million in campaign cash. The two challengers raised about $72,000 and had about $177,000, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.
State party leaders and political scientists give a variety of reasons for the lack of challengers:
• The state's history of political stability in which incumbents rarely lose.
• The way the House district boundaries are drawn.
• A decline in available campaign cash in the state because so much was siphoned off in last year's Senate race and is being gobbled up by presidential candidates, especially Republican Fred Thompson.
• The tendency of people of like political views to live next to one another.
Bruce Oppenheimer, a political science professor at Vanderbilt University, said the power of incumbency — the ability to bring home federal funds to the district and to maintain a high profile among voters — is less important than districting and political homogeneity.
"Democrats tend to live near Democrats and Republicans close to Republicans," so it is easy to draw districts that highly favor one party or the other, Oppenheimer said his research shows. Tennessee's 4th District has enough of a mix to provide for a competitive race, Oppenheimer said. But that is counterbalanced by the serpentine shape of the district, which runs from Kentucky to Alabama. Anyone running against Democrat Rep. Lincoln Davis of Pall Mall would need to buy television ads in three media markets to cover the district, he said.
Robin Smith, chairwoman of the Tennessee Republican Party, puts the blame on Democrats, who drew the district maps after the 2000 Census. Redistricting — which has a contentious and litigious history — will occur after the 2010 Census.
State Democratic Party spokesman Wade Mundy said the 2006 Senate race, in which Republican Bob Corker barely beat Democrat Harold Ford Jr., ate up a lot of donations. He said Democratic challengers may emerge, especially in the Senate race, but he conceded that Alexander has been "somewhat" successful in bipartisan efforts that make him a more formidable rival.
Republican James Hart of Buchanan has filed to challenge Democrat Rep. John Tanner in the 8th District. But while Tanner of Union City has amassed more than $1 million in his campaign; Hart raised $186 in the third quarter and has about $5,300. The only competitive race will be for the Democratic nomination in the 9th District in Memphis, where Steve Cohen will seek a second term. He had $374,000 at the end of September, while Nikki Tinker had about $172,000.
The lack of competition is not new in Tennessee. The last incumbent to lose was former Democratic senator James Sasser who was defeated by Republican Bill Frist in 1994. "The Rothenberg Political Report" lists only 62 of 435 House races as being competitive in 2008. ------------------Once again, I'm proud to say my parents live in a cesspool of fascist Republicans. However, I'll most likely end up downtown or in East Nashville. Sorry, WC Democrats.