Redistricting maps could push Senate minority leader out - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Redistricting maps could push Senate minority leader out of office

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN(WMC-TV) - Tennessee Democrats are wrangling to keep their Senate minority leader from becoming a casualty of redistricting.

The proposed new maps could push Senator Jim Kyle out of office in November.

Republicans are fast-tracking the proposed maps through the Tennessee Legislature.  If the House and Senate approve the current proposed voting boundaries, Kyle would become a man without a district.

"There are folks who have been trying to write my political obituary for years, and I'm just trying my best to keep it from being published," said Kyle.

Amid the frenzy of a looming Tennessee Senate redistricting vote, Kyle took a moment to talk with Action News 5 by phone from Nashville Wednesday.

"It's a big boy game up here," said Kyle.  "So we just have to see how it works out."

Democrats are going toe-to-toe with Republicans over the GOP's new, proposed voting district maps.

The latest version of the Senate map would carve Senator Kyle's Memphis home out of the upcoming election.  His District 28 would move to Middle Tennessee.

"I'm sitting in a district where there is not an election," he said.  "And if there is no election, I can't run."

Republican leaders finished the maps Tuesday afternoon.  Republican-controlled House and Senate committees quickly approved the maps by Tuesday night.

The clock is winding fast.  The final votes happen Thursday and Friday.

Kyle said the constituents he has been serving for nearly 30 years deserve better.

"I think it's been thrown on them as much as it's been thrown on me," said Kyle.

Action News 5 asked Kyle if he would move to another district and run there.

"Let's see what the final result is," he said.  "Anything is possible, but I don't know if that's what I'd want to do or not."

Senator Kyle said the ultimate decision is whether or not the maps are legal.

"I intend on being in the Senate next year, and I intend on you being able to call me and talk to me about it," said Kyle.

The House version of the bill goes to the floor Thursday.  The Senate bill goes to the floor Friday.

To read the bills and see the proposed maps, click here.

Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly