Nashville now has three congressman, but each has few ties to the city

Republicans and their successful gerrymandering of Nashville means the heavily Democratic city will now have three representatives, all from the GOP. Each has few historic ties to the city and each is based outside Davidson County, raising questions about how they will represent the area.

“You reflect the community by being in the community, by going to weddings, funerals, and events, and talking with people about what they value,” said Lisa Quigley, the former chief of staff to outgoing U.S Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Nashville. “But, these representatives aren’t going to be on that circuit of events because they don’t live in Nashville.” 

Congressman-elect Andy Ogles, R-Columbia, and U.S. Reps. John Rose, R-Cookeville, and Mark Green, R-Clarksville, now each represent a third of Nashville. 

Ogles covers the southern and middle parts of Nashville in the 5th District, Rose the eastern portion in his 6th District seat and Green the northern and western areas of the city in his 7th. Each handily won their elections, leaving Democrats little optimism about retaking one of three seats under the current district maps. 

Each district’s sprawling means Nashville will make up a minority of each member’s area of representation. Under the previous map, Cooper and the old 5th District covered all of Nashville, Cheatham County, and part of Dickson County.

Nashvillians made up about 90% of the population of the old 5th District.

Now, the question remains how will the three represent Nashville, including whether they will open offices in the city. Green’s office told The Tennessean they plan to open an office in Nashville. Rose’s office said they are “currently weighing” all option for district office locations. Ogles did not respond to The Tennessean’s question.

Quigley said it might be hard for all of them to open offices because of budgeting. 

“You only get so much money for office space, and if you haven’t noticed, real estate in Nashville is expensive,” Quigley said. Cooper had a district office downtown, in the same building as the Nashville Public Library’s main branch.

Green has made efforts to reach out to Nashvillians. Green met with the Nashville Mayor’s Office during the campaign and held his election night party at the Millennium Maxwell House Hotel, located in the Nashville portion of his district.

Green was also critical of the redistricting process, calling the Republican gerrymandering “greedy” last year.

All three representatives are likely to meet with Nashville Mayor John Cooper, but T.J. Ducklo, a spokesperson for the mayor, said no meetings have been scheduled.

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5th district history of election a Nashvillians is no more

The 5th District has a particular history of electing representatives who grew up, lived, and often worked in Nashville or Davidson County before the establishment of the Metro government in the early 1960s. Of the last seven representatives, all but one was born in Nashville. Two former U.S. representatives served as the city’s mayor, one as Davidson County’s property assessor, and…

Read More: Nashville now has three congressman, but each has few ties to the city

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