Nashville, Tenn.: Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Ten. announced on Tuesday that he would not run for re-election, declaring that there was no way for him to win his seat under a new congressional map drawn up by state Republicans.
Cooper has been in elected office for more than 30 years and has been representing Nashville’s 5th Congressional District since 2003. Before that, moderate Democrats spent time serving in the House from 1983 to 1995.
His retirement was announced just a day after the Tennessee GOP-controlled General Assembly approved a new congressional map that would split Democratic-leaning Nashville three-way. Under the new plan, which still must be approved by Governor Cooper, a Republican would have become a significant underdog in retaining his seat.
I can’t thank the people of Nashville enough, Cooper said in a statement. You supported me more than almost anyone in Tennessee history, making me the third longest-serving member of Congress.
Cooper also strongly criticized the state’s Republican lawmakers for ignoring pleas from local leaders to keep Nashville as a whole.
There is no way out in this election cycle at least for me, but there may be a way out for other deserving candidates, he said.
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