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Sun Aug 12, 2012, 04:59 PM

In Shelby County, white Democrats are endangered species


Thanks to Republican-led state legislative redistricting this year, white Democratic Reps. Mike Kernell and Jeanne Richardson were forced into the same districts with African-American incumbent Reps. G.A. Hardaway and John DeBerry. Kernell and Richardson both lost.

And in a forced state Senate race between incumbent Democrats Beverly Marrero and Jim Kyle, Marrero lost. Which means that when the next Tennessee General Assembly convenes in January, every Democratic House member from Memphis will be African-American, and Kyle will be the only white Memphis Democrat in the Senate.

It is a watershed moment in local politics. And in a broader sense, it reflects the changing demographics of Memphis and the ever-growing racial polarization of the electorate in the county. In other words, what some people have been saying for years is now virtually true in Shelby County, Democrat and Republican are mere code words for black and white.

"It does seem that liberal white Democrats are an endangered species," said longtime Memphis Democrat Mike Cody. "The (political) game has been taken away from them on the state level."

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Reply In Shelby County, white Democrats are endangered species (Original post)
Celebration Aug 2012 OP
AC_Mem Aug 2012 #1

Response to Celebration (Original post)

Sun Aug 12, 2012, 05:12 PM

1. Agree and Disagree

I recently moved to Orlando from Memphis and was active in the OFA and democratic community there. While there is truth in the demographic make-up of Shelby County, having lived there for over 25 years I can say that there are plenty of liberal, white democrats.

Saying that they are an "endangered species" is not true from my perspective.

Annette (now living in Orlando and ready to help out there)

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