NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — In a widely expected move, Republicans in the Tennessee state house approved the controversial new redistricting map that splits the urban and Democratic stronghold Davidson County into three different congressional districts, each including several rural conservative counties.
Before the party-line vote that approved the new congressional maps, House Republicans said politics had nothing to do with the plan.
Republicans behind the plan said Nashville would actually benefit from more congressmen in Washington.
"In the last 10 years, Davidson County has had one congressman in Washington, D.C., in this proposed plan, they will have three," said Rep. Pat Marsh (R-Shelbyville). "I think that's three times as good, three times more representation."
But Democrats said they don't buy it.
"It's absolutely not true, it's not correct," said Rep. Vincent Dixie (D-Nashville).
"I think it's obvious that this is racial gerrymandering, this is an obvious racist power grab to dilute Black and brown progressive voices across the state of Tennessee," said Democratic congressional candidate Odessa Kelly.
The only thing left is one final senate vote on the house redistricting plan before all three plans make their way to Gov. Bill Lee's desk for his signature.
The Tennessee Democratic Party says it's now preparing a lawsuit against the redistricting bills that have passed the house.