For the past 25 years, Tennessee’s Sixth Congressional District has been written off as a Democratic stronghold. This year, however, will signal the end of the era of Bart Gordon—who has held this seat since his election in 1984 and bowed out of the race early citing the age old excuse of “retirement”. As Gordon looks to retire, State Senator Diane Black has launched an aggressive campaign that looks to clean up the mess Gordon will be leaving behind.
The Sixth Congressional District lies in the middle of Tennessee and includes the suburbs of Nashville that have grown to be Republican leaning. For example, the district has consistently been a reliably Republican district— its Cook Partisan Voting Index is R+13—with both Bush and McCain easily coloring the district red by at least 20 percentage points. Bart Gordon, however, a supposedly “moderate” Democrat, has won this Congressional seat with significant ease throughout his tenure: in 2008, he beat his challenger by nearly 50 points.
Gordon announced his retirement in December of 2009, knowing that re-election would prove difficult. After voting for the disastrous stimulus, healthcare reform, and cap-and-trade, he was considered a reliable vote for the Democratic leadership. Brett Carter, a lawyer, is the Democrat vying for his seat. Despite his claims to the contrary, it is without a doubt that a vote for Carter is a vote to keep pushing this country in the wrong direction. It seems like Tennesseans know this, too, as Carter has had difficulty in rounding up a solid base of supporters and an even harder time raising money to keep himself with his opponent.