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Tennessee's 3rd congressional district

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Title: Tennessee's 3rd congressional district  
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Subject: United States congressional delegations from Tennessee, Chuck Fleischmann, East Tennessee, List of youngest members of the United States Congress, Reese Bowen Brabson
Collection: Congressional Districts of Tennessee, East Tennessee
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Tennessee's 3rd congressional district

Tennessee's 3rd congressional district
Tennessee's 3rd congressional district - since January 3, 2013.
Tennessee's 3rd congressional district - since January 3, 2013.
Current Representative Chuck Fleischmann (RChattanooga)
Population (2000) 632,143
Median income $35,434
Cook PVI R+12[1]

The 3rd Congressional District of Tennessee is a congressional district in Tennessee. It currently includes a north-south strip in the eastern part of the state. Current Republican Representative Chuck Fleischmann has served since 2011.

Principal cities in the district include Chattanooga, Oak Ridge, and Cleveland. Its configuration has remained more or less the same since the 1850s. Currently it includes all of Anderson, Bradley, Claiborne, Grainger, Hamilton, Meigs, Polk, Rhea, and Union counties, and parts of Jefferson and Roane counties. The southern counties are connected to the northern counties by a thin strip in Roane County. [2]


  • History 1
  • 2010 election 2
  • List of representatives 3
  • Historical district boundaries 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6


The 3rd District is on the dividing line between counties and towns that favored or opposed Southern secession in the Unionist (the name used by a coalition of Republicans, northern Democrats and anti-Confederate Southern Democrats) to the Thirty-seventh Congress, but he was arrested by Confederate troops while en route to Washington, D.C. and taken back to Tennessee. Bridges was held prisoner for more than a year before he escaped and went to Washington, D.C., and assumed his duties on February 23, 1863; serving until March 3, 1863.

During much of the 20th century, southeastern Tennessee was the only portion of heavily Republican East Tennessee where Democrats were able to compete on a more-or-less even basis. The Chattanooga papers--the moderate-to-progressive Times and the archconservative Free Press (now consolidated into the Chattanooga Times Free Press)--printed diametrically-opposed political editorials.

This balance showed signs of changing beginning in the late 1950s, when rural and working-class whites began splitting their tickets in national elections to support vice presidential candidates. In 1956, Senator Estes Kefauver, who had represented the 3rd from 1939 to 1949, was the Democratic vice presidential candidate. In 1992, Senator Al Gore was Bill Clinton's running mate, but even with Gore's presence, the Democrats only carried the 3rd by 39 votes out of 225,000 cast.

Even as the district became friendlier to Republicans at the national level, Democrats still held their own at the local level. Brock won the congressional seat in 1962, ending a 40-year run by Democrats. He handed the seat to Baker in 1971, but conservative Democrat Marilyn Lloyd (the widow of a popular television news anchorman in Chattanooga) regained it in 1974 and held it for 20 years. As late as the early 1990s, area Democrats held at least half the local offices in the region, particularly in the southern portion.

As the 1990s wore on, Democrats slowly began losing even county and local offices that they had held for generations. This trend actually began as early as 1992, when Lloyd barely held onto her seat against Republican Zach Wamp. Lloyd retired in 1994, and Wamp swept into office as part of that year's massive GOP wave. The Republicans have held it without serious difficulty since then, and it is now one of the most Republican districts in the state.

The northern counties have predominantly voted Republican since the 1860s, in a manner similar to their neighbors in the present 1st and 2nd districts. However, Democrats have received some support in coal mining areas (dating from the Great Depression). Also, in the years since World War II, the government-founded city of Oak Ridge, with its active labor unions and a population largely derived from outside the region, has been a source of potential Democratic votes.

Democrats still remain competitive in some local- and state-level races, particularly in Chattanooga and Oak Ridge. Chattanooga also elects some Democrats to the state legislature. However, even moderately liberal politics are a very hard sell, and most of the area's Democrats--particularly outside Chattanooga--are quite conservative on social issues.

The 3rd District is home to several Evangelical Protestant denominations and colleges, contributing to the area's social conservatism.

2010 election

Republican Zach Wamp of Chattanooga had represented the 3rd District since 1995. After Wamp's January 2009 announcement that he would run for Governor in 2010 instead of seeking re-election, several candidates announced campaigns for the seat. As of March 2010, the Republican field included former state party chairwoman Robin Smith, Air Force Captain Rick Kernea, Tommy Crangle, Chattanooga attorney Chuck Fleischmann, Bradley County sheriff Tim Gobble, Art Rhodes, Van Irion, and Basil Marceaux. Fleischmann won the August 5, 2010 primary with about 28% of the total vote. [3] [4] Democratic candidates as of October 2009 were Paula Flowers of Oak Ridge, a former member of Governor Phil Bredesen's cabinet, and former Libertarian Party member Brent Benedict, who won the 2006 Democratic primary for the seat but lost the general election to Wamp. [5] [6] [7] Both of those Democrats later abandoned their campaigns, but four other candidates placed their names on the ballot for the August 2010 Democratic primary: Alicia Mitchell of Oak Ridge, Brenda Freeman Short of East Ridge, and Brent Staton and John Wolfe of Chattanooga. Wolfe was the winner in the August 5, 2010 primary. [8] Six independents also filed petitions to appear on the November 2010 ballot: Don Barkman, Mark DeVol, Gregory C. Goodwin, Robert Humphries, Mo Kiah and Savas T. Kyriakidis. [9] Republican nominee Chuck Fleischmann won the general election in November 2010 with 57% of the vote, trailed by Democrat John Wolfe with 28%, and independent Savas Kyriakidis with 10%. [10]

List of representatives

Name Years Party District residence Notes
District created March 4, 1805
William Dickson March 4, 1805 -
March 4, 1807
Democratic-Republican Redistricted from the at-large district
Jesse Wharton March 4, 1807 -
March 4, 1809
Pleasant Moorman Miller March 4, 1809 -
March 4, 1811
Felix Grundy March 4, 1811 -
March 4, 1813
Democratic-Republican Redistricted to the 5th district
Thomas K. Harris March 4, 1813 –
March 4, 1815
Isaac Thomas March 4, 1815 –
March 4, 1817
Francis Jones March 4, 1817 –
March 4, 1823
James I. Standifer March 4, 1823 –
March 4, 1825
Jacksonian D-R Sequatchie Valley
James C. Mitchell March 4, 1825 –
March 4, 1829
Jacksonian Athens
James I. Standifer March 4, 1829 –
March 4, 1833
Jacksonian Sequatchie Valley Redistricted to the 4th district
Luke Lea March 4, 1833 –
March 4, 1835
Jacksonian Hawkins County
March 4, 1835 –
March 4, 1837
Joseph L. Williams March 4, 1837 –
March 4, 1843
Whig Knoxville
Julius W. Blackwell March 4, 1843 –
March 4, 1845
Democratic Athens
John H. Crozier March 4, 1845 –
March 4, 1849
Whig Knoxville
Josiah M. Anderson March 4, 1849 –
March 4, 1851
Whig Jasper
William M. Churchwell March 4, 1851 –
March 4, 1853
Democratic Knoxville Redistricted to the 2nd district
Samuel A. Smith March 4, 1853 –
March 4, 1859
Democratic Cleveland
Reese B. Brabson March 4, 1859 –
March 4, 1861
Opposition Chattanooga
Vacant March 4, 1861 –
February 25, 1863
Confederate Army
George W. Bridges February 25, 1863 –
March 4, 1863
Unionist Athens Seated February 25, 1863 after escaping Confederate prison
Vacant March 3, 1863 –
July 24, 1866
American Civil War
William B. Stokes July 24, 1866 –
March 4, 1867
Unconditional Unionist Alexandria
March 4, 1867 –
March 4, 1871
Abraham E. Garrett March 4, 1871 –
March 4, 1873
Democratic Livingston
William Crutchfield March 4, 1873 –
March 4, 1875
Republican Chattanooga
George G. Dibrell March 4, 1875 –
March 4, 1885
Democratic Sparta Retired
John R. Neal March 4, 1885 –
March 4, 1889
Democratic Rhea County
Henry Clay Evans March 4, 1889 –
March 4, 1891
Republican Chattanooga
Henry C. Snodgrass March 4, 1891 –
March 4, 1895
Democratic Sparta
Foster V. Brown March 4, 1895 –
March 4, 1897
Republican Chattanooga
John A. Moon March 4, 1897 –
March 4, 1921
Democratic Chattanooga
Joseph E. Brown March 4, 1921 –
March 4, 1923
Republican Chattanooga
Sam D. McReynolds March 4, 1923 –
July 11, 1939
Democratic Chattanooga Died
Vacant July 11, 1939 –
September 13, 1939
Estes Kefauver September 13, 1939 –
January 3, 1949
Democratic Chattanooga
James B. Frazier, Jr. January 3, 1949 –
January 3, 1963
Democratic Chattanooga
Bill Brock January 3, 1963 –
January 3, 1971
Republican Chattanooga
LaMar Baker January 3, 1971 –
January 3, 1975
Republican Chattanooga
Marilyn Lloyd January 3, 1975 –
January 3, 1995
Democratic Chattanooga
Zach Wamp January 3, 1995 –
January 3, 2011
Republican Chattanooga
Chuck Fleischmann January 3, 2011 –
Republican Chattanooga

Historical district boundaries

2003 - 2013

See also


  1. ^ "Partisan Voting Index Districts of the 113th Congress: 2004 & 2008" (PDF). The Cook Political Report. 2012. Retrieved 2013-01-10. 
  2. ^ Third District map
  3. ^ Republican Primary Unofficial Results, Tennessee Election Commission website, accessed August 6, 2010
  4. ^ Larry Henry, Fleischmann beats Smith in 3rd District, Chattanooga Times Free Press, August 6, 2010
  5. ^ 3rd District hopefuls tout finances, website, attributed to Chattanooga Times Free Press, October 17, 2009
  6. ^ Tom Humphrey, Congressional candidate money notes, Humphrey on the Hill, Knoxville News Sentinel website, October 15, 2009
  7. ^ Joe Lance, What Kind of Democrat Will Win the Third District Primary?, September 28, 2009
  8. ^ Democratic Primary Unofficial Results, Tennessee Election Commission website, accessed August 6, 2010
  9. ^ Official List of 2010 Candidates, Tennessee Department of State - Division of Elections, May 7, 2010
  10. ^ 2010 Congressional Election Results: Tennessee District 3, Washington Post, accessed December 9, 2010
  • Martis, Kenneth C. (1989). The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company. 
  • Martis, Kenneth C. (1982). The Historical Atlas of United States Congressional Districts. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company. 
  • Congressional Biographical Directory of the United States 1774–present
  • Political Graveyard database of Tennessee congressmen

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