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Retiring Tennessee Democrat pens ‘obituary’ for ‘political life of Nashville’

Democratic Tennessee Rep. Jim Cooper, who announced last week that he will not seek reelection in light of his Nashville-area district being split up by a GOP-approved map, penned an op-ed on Monday lamenting the end of the “political life of Nashville.”

In his announcement last week, Cooper, 67, cited new congressional district lines that divided his district, and said he did not see a path forward to winning another term.

For nearly two decades, Cooper has represented the congressional district that comprises Nashville, regarded as a liberal island in Tennessee’s red political landscape.

He first served in the House from 1983 to 1995 and then again beginning in 2003.

In an op-ed piece published by The Tennessean, Cooper wrote, “Nashville always differed politically from her neighboring cities; after all, she was a Union fortress during the Civil War. Middle Tennessee benefited, however, from the dynamic couple’s wealth, universities, arenas and airport.”

However, the congressman wrote that Davidson County, where Nashville is located, has been “forced into a nursing home because he can no longer speak,” due to what the congressman called gerrymandering by the state legislature.

“Closed casket due to disfigurement and dismemberment. Burial at City Cemetery. Memorial service to be held at a date to be announced,” Cooper wrote.

When he announced that he would not run for reelection, Cooper said he had explored multiple options to stop his district from being divided, including potential legal action. “No one tried harder to keep our city whole,” he said.

“There’s no way, at least for me in this election cycle, but there may be a path for other worthy candidates,” said Cooper.

Tags Congressional map Jim Cooper Jim Cooper nashville Redistricting Tennessee
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