Proposed plan would cut 3 seats from Shelby Co. in state legislature

(WMC-TV) - Shelby County stands to lose seats in the state legislature under a proposed redistricting plan.

The Republican-controlled Tennessee State Legislature would cut three seats, two in the House and one in the Senate, from Shelby County if a proposed plan passes.

"Well, it shouldn't sit well with Memphians nor Shelby Countians," said Representative G.A. Hardaway.

Hardaway is one of four Democratic Tennessee State House members who would be combined into two new districts.

Hardaway would be in a new district with Representative Barbara Cooper.  Representative Jeanne Richardson would join Antonio Parkinson in a second new district.

On the State Senate side, Democrat minority leader Jim Kyle of Memphis would be moved into Republican Brian Kelsey's Germantown-centered district.

"It diminishes the power of Shelby County," said Hardaway.

Hardaway blamed Representative Curry Todd of Collierville with pushing the redistricting plan.

"It's a shame Representative Todd would let his personal and political feelings get in the way of doing what is in the best interest of Shelby County," said Hardaway.

Hardaway and others already said the proposed plan violates the voting rights act meant to protect the interests of minorities, which could mean an eventual fight in federal court.

Todd called Hardaway's accusations, "asinine."  He said he grew up in Memphis, continues to support it, and said the redistricting plan meets all federal and state requirements.

Todd said the changes are the result of population shifts.

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