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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A move by the Republican-controlled Tennessee House to pass a redistricting plan is reverberating across the state and in Shelby County.

“We don’t think that we got a fair shake for the just short of 20 percent of the population in Tennessee that’s black,” Rep. G.A. Hardaway said.

Shelby County Democrats challenge the House district maps because they also eliminate District 90 held by Representative Torrey Harris of Memphis. It moves his seat into District 91 held by State Representative London Lamar.

“We know we’ve lost a House seat out of Shelby County,” Rep. G.A. Hardaway said. “That means less influence for Shelby County, the largest county in the state.”

Congressman Jim Cooper also announced he will not seek reelection after 32 years because of redistricting and “dismembering of Nashville.”

The redistricting plan will impact Memphis’ ninth Congressional District and parts of Tipton County.

Map shows changes to the 9th Congressional District, currently held by Democrat Steve Cohen. The district takes in much of Memphis but now will include parts of Tipton County.

“It’s not a good situation for Shelby County. It’s not a good situation for Tipton County,” Congressman Steve Cohen (D-Memphis) said. “They should all be in one congressional district.”

“I am going to be fine,” he said. “This District 9 will be a majority minority district with 59 percent voting age population, but what happened in the state house is unfortunate, and it’s geared toward eliminating an African American representative.”

Republicans such as Mark White of Memphis maintain the map changes are constitutional. He recently told WREG that some changes are due to a shrinking population.

“We lost one seat in northwest Tennessee and one in northeast Tennessee,” White said. “All of those districts went to middle Tennessee. I think we need to focus again. We can talk abbot how things are divided. We need to focus on the things people really care about.”

Still, Memphis Democrats vow to fight in court.

“The only way that black folks in particular have been able to get fairness and justice when it comes to the federal courts,” Rep. Hardaway said.

Members of the Shelby County Delegation said they plan on meeting as early as this evening to assess the full effect restricting could have on voters.

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