Change coming to Ketron's district lines

Friday, August 26, 2011

Tennessee House and Senate district lines are being changed because of the U.S. Constitution's requirement for equal representation and Marshall County's state senator will have some significant changes to the shape of his district.

"I've only looked at a couple of maps," Sen. Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro) said last week when asked if all of Marshall will remain in his district. "It's still to early to tell," he added, explaining the maps might change. Still, he was asked to speculate.

"I wouldn't say for Marshall County, but I know about Lincoln," Ketron replied on a condition that he was simply looking "through a crystal ball."

Ketron is of the opinion that he will not be representing Lincoln County after reapportionment, he said.

He now represents all of Marshall, Lincoln and Maury counties and about half of Rutherford County, one of the fastest growing counties in the state.

"I do know that I will probably get more of Rutherford than I have," the Murfreesboro Republican said.

State lawmakers hired a consultant, John Ryder of Memphis, to redraw state legislative district lines.

As a result of the 2010 census, each state senator will represent more people because of population growth and no change in the number of senators.

Currently, each senator has approximately 176,000 constituents, the number of people living in their districts, Ketron said. Approximately 191,500 will be the new population represented by each state senator.

At least one county official has said there's been some speculation that Marshall County might be split into two senate districts, meaning that, for example, the north part of the county could be represented by Ketron and another state senator might represent the south end of Marshall County.

Is it a "toss up" on whether Marshal could have two senators?

"I don't know because I haven't seen maps," Ketron replied. "The House is more active than we are" in the senate with regard to reapportionment.

Changes to political districts take effect for the next election.