Tennessee Democrats look to stem exodus from legislature - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Tennessee Democrats look to stem exodus from legislature

By LUCAS L. JOHNSON II
Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Democratic leaders are putting on a brave face about their dwindling numbers in the Tennessee Statehouse, claiming the political landscape presents an opportunity to regroup and emerge stronger.

But the party's recent electoral record - and an internal Democratic memorandum obtained by The Associated Press - present a bleaker picture.

The last time Democrats gained ground in the Legislature was in 2006, when they defeated a state senator who had switched parties to become a Republican.

Since then, they have lost 19 seats in the House and three seats in the Senate, placing them firmly in the minority of the two chambers. And another nine Democratic incumbents have announced they won't run again this year.

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