Although redistricting plans have not yet been made fully public in Tennessee, a few potential candidates in Hamilton County have begun the arduous process of cautiously staking out what they believe (likely on good authority) will be new territory: an open Tennessee House of Representatives district in the eastern part of the county. Given the demographic makeup of the area, such a district would almost certainly be solidly Republican.
Among those the grapevine suggests might be interested are Mike Carter, a former General Sessions Judge, assistant to former County Mayor Claude Ramsey, and 2011 candidate to replace Ramsey; Wes Kliner, an attorney and former election commissioner; Ray Minner, an educator whose political forays include twice narrowly missing being elected to the Collegedale City Commission; and Robin Smith, former Tennessee Republican Party chair and 2010 candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives. (It’s not clear whether the new district boundaries would include Smith’s residence; and she is still reportedly deciding whether a rematch with U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann is her 2012 focus.)
Attempts to confirm these and other active rumors are underway, and updates will be posted as more information becomes available. In the meantime, let me be clear that the above is simply hearsay at the moment, and is not intended as breaking news. It’s just what we sometimes like to talk about here.
UPDATE 11/23: Robin Smith does not live in the proposed new district, so strike her from the list. Also, there is another potential candidate—more to come.