Tennessee's 3rd Congressional District
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Tennessee's 3rd Congressional District
Tennessee's 3rd congressional district
Tennessee US Congressional District 3 (since 2013).tif
Tennessee's 3rd congressional district - since January 3, 2013.
  • 62.76[1]% urban
  • 37.24% rural
Population (2016)728,254[2]
Median income$47,681[3]
Cook PVIR+18[4]

The 3rd Congressional District of Tennessee is a congressional district in East Tennessee. It has been represented by Republican Chuck Fleischmann since January 2011.

Current Boundaries

The district comprises two halves, joined together through a narrow tendril in Roane County near Ten Mile.

The upper half borders Kentucky to the north and is composed of Scott, Morgan, Roane, Anderson, and Union counties, as well as most of Campbell County.

The lower half borders North Carolina to the east and Georgia to the south. It is composed of Hamilton, Polk, McMinn, and Monroe, and the southern half of Bradley County.


Traditionally, the third district has centered on Chattanooga, which has been part of the district since before the Civil War.[5]

In area, the district is sparsely populated. Almost half of the district's population lives in Hamilton County, home to Chattanooga.

The region is very mountainous, due to its location in the Appalachian Mountains. It contains many "natural wonders" such as: The Lost Sea, Frozen Head, Ocoee Whitewater Center, and perhaps most famously, Lookout Mountain, which contains both Ruby Falls and Rock City from the "See Rock City" signs dotted across the South.

Election results from presidential races

Year Result
2004 George W. Bush 61 - 38%
2008 John McCain 61.3 - 37.3%
2012 Mitt Romney 63.3 - 35%
2016 Donald Trump 65.4 - 30.2%


The 3rd District is on the dividing line between counties and towns that favored or opposed Southern secession in the Civil War. George Washington Bridges was elected as a 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. 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.

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 Dwight Eisenhower, Barry Goldwater, Governors Winfield Dunn and Lamar Alexander, Ronald Reagan, and two Chattanoogans, U.S. Representative LaMar Baker and Senator Bill Brock. It also warmly supported George Wallace in his third-party run for president in 1968. The district has only supported a Democrat for president twice in the last half century, in 1956 and 1992. Even in those cases, that support was almost entirely attributable to the presence of native sons as 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 narrowly won the race to succeed her as part of that year's massive GOP wave. Wamp was handily reelected in 1996, and the Republicans have held it without serious difficulty since then. Indeed, the Democrats have only cleared 40 percent of the vote twice since Lloyd retired. Redistricting after the 2010 census consolidated the Republican hold on the seat, and it is now one of the most Republican districts in the nation.

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.[6][7] 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.[8][9][10] 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.[11] 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.[12] 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%.[13]

List of members representing the district

Name Years Party Electoral history District location
District created March 4, 1805
William Dickson March 4, 1805 -
March 3, 1807
Democratic-Republican Redistricted from the at-large district and re-elected in 1805.
"Mero district"
Jesse Wharton March 4, 1807 -
March 3, 1809
Democratic-Republican Elected in 1807.
Pleasant Moorman Miller March 4, 1809 -
March 3, 1811
Democratic-Republican Elected in 1809.
Felix Grundy
March 4, 1811 -
March 3, 1813
Democratic-Republican Elected in 1811.
Redistricted to the 5th district.
Thomas K. Harris March 4, 1813 -
March 3, 1815
Democratic-Republican Elected in 1813.
Lost re-election.
[Data unknown/missing.]
Isaac Thomas March 4, 1815 -
March 3, 1817
Democratic-Republican Elected in 1815.
Francis Jones March 4, 1817 -
March 3, 1823
Democratic-Republican Elected in 1817.
[Data unknown/missing.]
James I. Standifer March 4, 1823 -
March 3, 1825
Jackson Democratic-Republican [Data unknown/missing.]
James C. Mitchell March 4, 1825 -
March 3, 1829
Jacksonian [Data unknown/missing.]
James I. Standifer March 4, 1829 -
March 3, 1833
Jacksonian [Data unknown/missing.]
Redistricted to the 4th district.
Luke Lea March 4, 1833 -
March 3, 1835
Jacksonian [Data unknown/missing.]
March 4, 1835 -
March 3, 1837
Anti-Jacksonian [Data unknown/missing.]
Joseph L. Williams March 4, 1837 -
March 3, 1843
Whig [Data unknown/missing.]
Julius W. Blackwell March 4, 1843 -
March 3, 1845
Democratic [Data unknown/missing.]
John H. Crozier March 4, 1845 -
March 3, 1849
Whig [Data unknown/missing.]
Josiah M. Anderson March 4, 1849 -
March 3, 1851
Whig [Data unknown/missing.]
William M. Churchwell March 4, 1851 -
March 3, 1853
Democratic [Data unknown/missing.]
Redistricted to the 2nd district.
Samuel A. Smith
March 4, 1853 -
March 3, 1859
Democratic [Data unknown/missing.]
Reese B. Brabson March 4, 1859 -
March 3, 1861
Opposition [Data unknown/missing.]
George W. Bridges March 4, 1861 -
March 3, 1863
Unionist Elected but initially unable to take seat when taken prisoner by the Confederate Army. Seated February 25, 1863 after escaping a Confederate prison.
[Data unknown/missing.]
Vacant March 4, 1863 -
July 24, 1866
American Civil War
William Brickly Stokes - Brady-Handy.jpg
William B. Stokes
July 24, 1866 -
March 3, 1867
Unconditional Unionist [Data unknown/missing.]
March 4, 1867 -
March 3, 1871
Republican [Data unknown/missing.]
Abraham E. Garrett March 4, 1871 -
March 3, 1873
Democratic [Data unknown/missing.]
William Crutchfield - Brady-Handy.jpg
William Crutchfield
March 4, 1873 -
March 3, 1875
Republican [Data unknown/missing.]
George Gibbs Dibrell - Brady-Handy.jpg
George G. Dibrell
March 4, 1875 -
March 3, 1885
Democratic [Data unknown/missing.]
John R. Neal March 4, 1885 -
March 3, 1889
Democratic [Data unknown/missing.]
Portrait of Henry Clay Evans.jpg
Henry Clay Evans
March 4, 1889 -
March 3, 1891
Republican [Data unknown/missing.]
Henry C. Snodgrass March 4, 1891 -
March 3, 1895
Democratic [Data unknown/missing.]
Foster V. Brown.jpg
Foster V. Brown
March 4, 1895 -
March 3, 1897
Republican [Data unknown/missing.]
John A Moon.jpg
John A. Moon
March 4, 1897 -
March 3, 1921
Democratic [Data unknown/missing.]
Joseph E. Brown
March 4, 1921 -
March 3, 1923
Republican [Data unknown/missing.]
Sam D. McReynolds March 4, 1923 -
July 11, 1939
Democratic [Data unknown/missing.]
Vacant July 11, 1939 -
September 13, 1939
Estes Kefauver
September 13, 1939 -
January 3, 1949
Democratic [Data unknown/missing.]
James B. Frazier Jr. January 3, 1949 -
January 3, 1963
Democratic [Data unknown/missing.]
Bill brock.jpg
Bill Brock
January 3, 1963 -
January 3, 1971
Republican [Data unknown/missing.]
LaMar Baker updated.jpg
LaMar Baker
January 3, 1971 -
January 3, 1975
Republican [Data unknown/missing.]
Marilyn Lloyd.jpg
Marilyn Lloyd
January 3, 1975 -
January 3, 1995
Democratic [Data unknown/missing.]
Zach Wamp.jpg
Zach Wamp
January 3, 1995 -
January 3, 2011
Republican [Data unknown/missing.]
Charles J. Fleischmann 113th Congress.jpg
Chuck Fleischmann
January 3, 2011 -
Republican [Data unknown/missing.]

Historical district boundaries

2003 - 2013

See also


  1. ^ https://www.census.gov/geo/maps-data/data/cd_state.html
  2. ^ https://www.census.gov/mycd/?st=47&cd=03
  3. ^ https://www.census.gov/mycd/?st=47&cd=03
  4. ^ "Partisan Voting Index - Districts of the 115th Congress" (PDF). The Cook Political Report. April 7, 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  5. ^ https://github.com/JeffreyBLewis/congressional-district-boundaries
  6. ^ Republican Primary Unofficial Results, Tennessee Election Commission website, accessed August 6, 2010
  7. ^ Larry Henry, Fleischmann beats Smith in 3rd District, Chattanooga Times Free Press, August 6, 2010
  8. ^ 3rd District hopefuls tout finances, AllBusiness.com website, attributed to Chattanooga Times Free Press, October 17, 2009
  9. ^ Tom Humphrey, Congressional candidate money notes, Humphrey on the Hill, Knoxville News Sentinel website, October 15, 2009
  10. ^ Joe Lance, What Kind of Democrat Will Win the Third District Primary?, September 28, 2009
  11. ^ Democratic Primary Unofficial Results, Tennessee Election Commission website, accessed August 6, 2010
  12. ^ Official List of 2010 Candidates, Tennessee Department of State - Division of Elections, May 7, 2010
  13. ^ 2010 Congressional Election Results: Tennessee District 3, Washington Post, accessed December 9, 2010

Coordinates: 35°45?42?N 84°30?34?W / 35.76167°N 84.50944°W / 35.76167; -84.50944

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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