Tennessee's Points of Blue

Andy Berke, a Democratic state senator, wants to keep it four for four.

That would be four Democratic mayors of Tennessee's four largest cities.

Berke was scheduled to come to Knoxville this week for a fund-raiser at Club LeConte. He is running for mayor of Chattanooga to replace term-limited Democratic Mayor Ron Littlefield next year. No surprise that guests and hosts included Mayor Madeline Rogero and state Rep. Joe Armstrong, D-Knoxville. But Republican County Mayor Tim Burchett was also scheduled to attend; he served with Berke in the state senate. Also listed as a host was Republican former Knoxville Mayor and Ambassador to Poland, Victor Ashe. Queried on his involvement Ashe said he simply believes that Berke would be a good mayor for Chattanooga.

Mayors' jobs are theoretically non-partisan, though political affiliation still matters.

Being the mayor of one of the state's large cities has seemed to be a plum position of late. The state's current Gov. Bill Haslam was mayor of Knoxville, the former governor, Phil Bredesen, was mayor of Nashville, and U.S. Sen. Bob Corker was mayor of Chattanooga. Nashville Mayor Karl Dean is seen as a potential Democratic candidate for governor. Having Democrats in mayor posts gives the Democratic Party a solid bench to possibly reclaim some statewide offices and congressional seats now held by Republicans.