The Republicans are busily redrawing legislative districts and Knox County is likely to have some major changes. It is likely that a new district will be formed going west from downtown.
State Rep. Joe Armstrong, an African-American Democrat, has an underpopulated district. It will likely be expanded to take in as many Democrats as possible in state Rep. Harry Tindell’s district. That gives Armstrong a safe seat. Tindell is the only other Democrat in the Knox delegation. The change will allow the new district lines to add a large swath of Republicans to Tindell’s district, giving the Republicans a chance to knock him off in the next election.
State Rep. Frank Niceley’s district, which had been in part of Jefferson and part of Knox County, will likely be expanded in Jefferson County. His Knox County voters and an expansion of the population will allow a new district to be drawn—likely stretching from Sequoyah Hills west. State Rep. Ryan Haynes, in Farragut, has an overpopulated district. The new district is likely to be another Republican seat.
After the next election, the Knox delegation would change by having all districts within the county and all in-county representatives. The numbers could go from 5-2 Republican to 6-1 Republican, unless Tindell can overcome the odds.