UPDATE: Gordon to retire; Tracy will seek seat

Monday, December 14, 2009 ~ Updated 2:37 PM

Marshall County will have a new Congressman in 2011.

Rep. Bart Gordon (D-Murfreesboro) announced Monday morning he is retiring in 2010. Gordon has held the Sixth District since 1984.

Later on Monday, State Sen. Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville) announced he is filing the necessary paperwork to run for the seat.

"When I was elected, I was the youngest member of the Tennessee congressional delegation; now, I'm one of the oldest," Gordon said. "In fact, I have members of my staff who weren't even born when I took office. That tells me it's time for a new chapter."

Gordon, the dean of the state's congressional delegation, said he made his decision after consulting with his wife, Leslie.

"Turning 60 has led me to re-evaluate what's next. I have an 8-year-old daughter and a wonderful wife who has a very demanding job. I am the only child of my 83-year-old mother, Margaret. They have made sacrifices to allow me to do what I love by serving in Congress, and now it's my turn," said Gordon.

Gordon's retirement was immediately seen as an opening for Republicans. John McCain won the district by 25 points, and many Republicans pointed to Gordon as being vulnerable in 2010.

Tracy had said early this month he was strongly considering running against Gordon. Lou Ann Zelenik, former Chairman of the Rutherford County Republican Party, is one of several who has announced she will also run for the seat.

U.S. Rep. Bart Gordon has announced he is retiring next year. How would you grade his job performance?

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