|Tennessee's 4th congressional district|
Tennessee's 4th congressional district - since January 3, 2013.
The district lies mostly in the southern part of Middle Tennessee, but stretches into East Tennessee. It is currently composed of the following counties: Bedford, Bledsoe, Franklin, Grundy, Lincoln, Marion, Marshall, Meigs, Moore, Rhea, Rutherford, Sequatchie, and Warren. It also contains significant portions of Bradley, Maury, and Van Buren counties.
Most of the district is rural, but many residents live in suburbs of Chattanooga and Nashville. The area is very hilly, and has many well-known geographical features related to its location on the Cumberland Plateau. Possibly the most famous of these is Fall Creek Falls in Van Buren County.
Election results from presidential races
|2000||President||George W. Bush 50% - Al Gore 49%|
|2004||President||George W. Bush 58% - John Kerry 41%|
|2008||President||John McCain 62.6% - Barack Obama 35.8%|
|2012||President||Mitt Romney 65.3% - Barack Obama 33%|
|2016||President||Donald Trump 68.6% - Hillary Clinton 27.4%|
Throughout the 20th century, the 4th district took many different forms. Though, in most cases, it encompassed most of the rural area between Nashville and Knoxville. It has often been the state's largest district in terms of area, and one of the largest east of the Mississippi River, because of low population density and the district's rural character.
For almost thirty years (1947-1977), this area of Tennessee was represented in Congress by Joe L. Evins. (Early in his political career, his district was numbered as the "5th", but that district was almost entirely in what became the 4th after the 1950s round of redistricting.) Evins' successor in Congress was future vice president Al Gore, Jr., who represented the 4th from 1977 to 1983.
The district's current configuration dates from he 1980 census, when Tennessee gained a new congressional seat. Parts of what were previously in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 6th districts were combined to form a new 4th district. Most of Gore's territory became the 6th district.
The new district took pieces of traditional heavily Republican East Tennessee and traditionally Democratic Middle Tennessee. It was so large that it stretched across five of Tennessee's eight television markets (Nashville, Knoxville, Chattanooga, the Tri-Cities, as well as the Tennessee share of the Huntsville, Alabama market). and five of the state's nine radio markets (the above-mentioned cities, plus Cookeville). This gave congressional races much of the feel of statewide races; candidates' advertising budgets sometimes rivaled those for governor and U.S. Senate. Open-seat races in this district were usually among the most-watched in the country. However, the district's large size and lack of unifying influences make it very difficult to unseat an incumbent. Consequently, the district's congressman was usually reckoned as a statewide figure, with a good chance for winning state office in the future.
In 1982, Democrat Jim Cooper, son of former governor Prentice Cooper defeated Cissy Baker, daughter of Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker. Cooper went on to represent the district for the rest of the 80s and early 90s. On paper, this district was not safe for either party, given its volatile demographics. Much of the eastern portion of the district, for instance, had not been represented by a Democrat since before the Civil War. However, Cooper was reelected five times without serious difficulty.
Cooper gave up his seat to run for Senate in 1994, where he lost to Fred Thompson. He was succeeded by Republican Van Hilleary in the massive Republican wave of that year. Hilleary was reelected three times without much difficulty, handily winning a second term even as Bill Clinton carried the district due to Gore's presence as his running mate; he'd represented much of the western portion of the district for his first three terms in the House.
In 2010, Davis was challenged by South Pittsburg doctor Scott DesJarlais, who rode to victory on the Tea Party wave of 2010 despite Davis raising more money. This marked the first time that an incumbent had been defeated in the district since the reformation of the district in 1980.
Following the DesJarlais victory and the 2010 census, the 4th was made slightly more compact. The district lost its northern portion, including its territory near the Tri-Cities and Knoxville. On the other hand, the 4th gained significant additions with Rutherford County and northern Bradley County.
List of members representing the district
|Name||Years||Party||Residence||Electoral history||District location|
|District created March 4, 1813|
|John H. Bowen||March 4, 1813 – |
March 3, 1815
|Democratic-Republican||Elected in 1813. |
|Bennett H. Henderson||March 4, 1815 – |
March 3, 1817
|Democratic-Republican||Elected in 1815.|
|Samuel E. Hogg||March 4, 1817 – |
March 3, 1819
|Democratic-Republican||Elected in 1817.|
|Robert Allen||March 4, 1819 – |
March 3, 1823
Redistricted to the 5th district.
|Jacob C. Isacks||March 4, 1823 – |
March 3, 1825
|March 4, 1825 – |
March 3, 1833
|James I. Standifer||March 4, 1833 – |
March 3, 1835
|Jacksonian||Kingston||Redistricted from the 3rd district.|
|March 4, 1835 – |
March 3, 1837
|March 4, 1837 – |
August 20, 1837
|Vacant||August 20, 1837 –|
September 14, 1837
|William Stone||September 14, 1837 – |
March 3, 1839
|Whig||Sequatchie County||Elected September 14, 1837 to finish Standifer's term and seated October 6, 1837.|
|Julius W. Blackwell||March 4, 1839 – |
March 3, 1841
|Thomas J. Campbell||March 4, 1841 – |
March 3, 1843
|Alvan Cullom||March 4, 1843 – |
March 3, 1847
|Hugh Hill||March 4, 1847 – |
March 3, 1849
John H. Savage
|March 4, 1849 – |
March 3, 1853
|William Cullom||March 4, 1853 – |
March 3, 1855
|Whig||Carthage||Redistricted from the 8th district.|
John H. Savage
|March 4, 1855 – |
March 3, 1859
William B. Stokes
|March 4, 1859 – |
March 3, 1861
Andrew J. Clements
|March 4, 1861 – |
March 3, 1863
|American Civil War|
|Edmund Cooper||July 24, 1866 – |
March 3, 1867
|March 4, 1867 – |
March 3, 1869
|March 4, 1869 – |
March 3, 1871
John M. Bright
|March 4, 1871 – |
March 3, 1875
Redistricted to the 5th district.
|Samuel M. Fite||March 4, 1875 – |
October 23, 1875
|Vacant||October 23, 1875 –|
December 14, 1875
Haywood Y. Riddle
|December 14, 1875 – |
March 3, 1879
|March 4, 1879 – |
January 6, 1899
Resigned when elected Governor
|Vacant||January 6, 1899 –|
March 3, 1899
|Charles E. Snodgrass||March 4, 1899 – |
March 3, 1903
|Morgan C. Fitzpatrick||March 4, 1903 – |
March 3, 1905
Mounce G. Butler
|March 4, 1905 – |
March 3, 1907
|March 4, 1907 – |
March 3, 1921
Wynne F. Clouse
|March 4, 1921 – |
March 3, 1923
|March 4, 1923 – |
March 3, 1931
|John R. Mitchell||March 4, 1931 – |
January 3, 1939
Albert Gore, Sr.
|January 3, 1939 – |
December 4, 1944
Resigned December 4, 1944 to enter US Army
|Vacant||December 4, 1944 –|
January 3, 1945
Albert Gore, Sr.
|January 3, 1945 – |
January 3, 1953
Joe L. Evins
|January 3, 1953 – |
January 3, 1977
|Democratic||Smithville||Redistricted from the 5th district.|
|January 3, 1977 – |
January 3, 1983
Redistricted to the 6th district.
|January 3, 1983 – |
January 3, 1995
|January 3, 1995 – |
January 3, 2003
|January 3, 2003 – |
January 3, 2011
|January 3, 2011 – |
Living former members
As of January 2019[update], there are four living former members. The most recent to die was Albert Gore Sr. (served 1939–1953) on December 5, 1998. The most recent serving representative to die was Joe L. Evins (served 1953–1977) on March 31, 1984.
|Representative||Term of office||Date of birth (and age)|
|Al Gore||1977–1983||March 31, 1948|
|Jim Cooper||1983–1995||June 20, 1959|
|Van Hilleary||1995–2003||June 19, 1954|
|Lincoln Davis||2003–2011||September 13, 1943|
Historical district boundaries
- "Partisan Voting Index – Districts of the 115th Congress" (PDF). The Cook Political Report. April 7, 2017. Retrieved April 7, 2017.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-05-08. Retrieved 2016-05-10.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-05-11. Retrieved 2016-05-10.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- 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
Congress.com: Tennessee Congressional districts
- Google map of Tennessee's 4th district at GovTrack.us
- National Atlas maps of all congressional districts
- U.S. Census data searchable by congressional district
- Opensecrets.org Fundraising data from FEC reports
- 2006 results by county from CBSNews.com