» By MADELYN FOX – firstname.lastname@example.org
Numbers from the 2010 census indicate Tennessee is growing, specifically the Middle Tennessee area. Meanwhile, districts in both East and West Tennessee have lost seats in the House of Representatives, as the population shifts more heavily to the middle of the state.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Clarksville has grown by nearly 30 percent since the 2000 census, while Nashville and Murfreesboro grew by 10 percent and 58 percent, respectively.
In order to remedy the now disproportionate representation for each district, state legislators set about re-drawing the district lines to more accurately represent the number of people and where they live. Though the number of members in the Tennessee State House of Representatives will remain at 99, the number of representatives per district will change.
In the Clarksville-Montgomery County area, this means a third representative will be pulled from the 74th district and added to our district’s representation until the elections in November.
Currently, Montgomery County’s representation is split between the 68th and 78th districts.
State House Representative Joe Pitts, head of the redistricting committee, said effective November 2012, parts of Montgomery County will also be represented in the 74th district, and registered voters will receive new voter cards with the new House district and precinct number. The revised 74th district will encompass part of Montgomery County, as well as all of Houston County and Humphrey County.
Representative Curtis Johnson, currently a representative for Montgomery County in the 68th district, said he expects Montgomery County to have its own district and representatives within 10 years, if the same trend of population growth continues.
Johnson said Montgomery County is already close to having three representatives and a senator within the county.
Both Johnson and Representative Pitts stressed Montgomery County voters will only be affected by the change in district number and will now have more representation in the state legislature. TAS