The district itself, according to the National Atlas site is wedged into the eastern part of the state. It includes the cities of Morristown, Greeneville, Kingsport, Elizabethton and Johnson City. President Andrew Johnson (the first impeached Prez) hailed from this region. If you know of any Democratic politicians in those areas, feel free to contact them and ask them to consider a bid.
To paraphrase Shep Smith... word today that Rep. Bill Jenkins (R-TN), has decided to retire.
Jenkins represents TN's first cong. district, which gave Pres. Bush 68% of its vote in '04. It'll be hard for Dems to recruit there -- but not impossible. The Almanac of American Politics tells us that the district's geography and industry make it uniquely sensitive to the prevailing economic winds. The demographics are changing; it's an old-line big-R-Republican district that's more party-faithful than ideologically bound to conservatism. Dems say it's the most liberal Republican district in TN. Still, as the Almanac notes, voters haven't elected a Dem there for 100 years. It's so Republican, it was Republican when it wasn't cool to be Republican in the South -- like, during and after the Civil War; "Scalawag" central, in other words.
The bottom line, though, is that retirements in environments like this one -- even in steady GOP districts -- are not the best news for the incumbent party."
For you Civil War buffs out there, this is the part of Tennessee which essentially joined the Union during the war. Along with western North Carolina, they formed cohesive units of soldiers and linked up with advancing Union troops. The voters here might well appreciate a Democrat advocating a return to "old-time values" over the new hypocrisy of the Republican Party. I am optimistic? No, but it would be a good sign for the future if a Democrat ran and did decently here.