The total Republican control of Tennessee state government comes at a convenient time for the GOP: just as data from the 2010 Census arrives, paving the way for the once-a-decade exercise in political gamesmanship known as redistricting. If you want to know what it all means, you can attend a breakfast this Saturday from 10 to 11 a.m. at Blount Mansion. The meeting is free and open to the public.
Hosted by the League of Women Voters, the breakfast will feature our two local state senators, Jamie Woodson and (Metro Pulse favorite) Stacey Campfield, discussing the ins and outs of the process that many of us learned in history class as "gerrymandering." The state Legislature will get to redraw districts both for U.S. representatives and state representatives and senators. One question: Will Knoxville's two Democratic reps, Harry Tindell and Joe Armstrong, end up contending for the same seat? Or even zoned into heavily Republican precincts?
It's a topic that Woodson, for one, can speak about knowledgeably; her old state House district was radically redrawn by Democrats in 2002, pitting her against a popular Jefferson County football coach in her 2004 re-election race. She won. But she probably hasn't forgotten.