Diane Black

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Diane Black
RepBlack OfficialPhoto.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Tennessee's 6th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2011
Preceded by Bart Gordon
Member of the Tennessee Senate
from the 18th district
In office
Preceded by Jo Ann Graves
Succeeded by Kerry Roberts
Member of the Tennessee House of Representatives
from the 45th district
In office
Succeeded by Debra Young Maggart
Personal details
Born (1951-01-16) January 16, 1951 (age 64)
Baltimore, Maryland
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) David Lee Black
Children Jill Black Stoyshich
Katie Black Shiver
Steve Black
Residence Gallatin, Tennessee
Occupation Nurse
Real estate investor
Religion Lutheran - ELCA[1]
Website Official website

Diane Lynn Black[2] (née Warren; born January 16, 1951) is an American politician who has been the U.S. Representative for Tennessee's 6th congressional district since 2011. The district includes several suburban and rural areas east of Nashville. She is a member of the Republican Party. Previously she was a member of the Tennessee Senate for the 18th district, which encompasses Robertson County and part of Sumner County. She was floor leader of the State Senate Republican Caucus.

Early life, education, and nursing career[edit]

Born in Baltimore, Maryland to Joseph and Audrey Warren, Black graduated from Andover High School in Linthicum, Maryland, in 1969. She then became the first member of her family to earn a college degree [3] when she graduated from Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold, Maryland with an associate's degree in nursing in 1971. In 1985 she moved to Tennessee to attend Belmont University.[4] She graduated with a bachelor's degree in nursing in 1991 and worked as a Registered Nurse until 1998 when she decided to run for the Tennessee House of Representatives. Later she has also served as an educator at Volunteer State Community College.[5] She lives with her husband David (himself a graduate of Loyola College and the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore)[6] in Gallatin, Tennessee, the seat of a neighboring county of Metro Nashville.[7] Her net worth is almost $29 million because of her husband's stake in Aegis Sciences Corporation, a "...forensic chemical and drug-testing laboratory specializing in the Zero-Tolerance Drug Testing® testing programs for businesses, professional and amateur sports drug testing, pain management physicians, and medical examiners".[8][9]

Black retains her nursing license even today and, to date, has been a nurse for more than 40 years.[10]

Tennessee legislature[edit]

Before becoming a state senator in 2004, she had previously served as a state representative for six years from 1998. Black was the Assistant Floor Leader of the Senate Republican Caucus, a member of the Senate Government Operations Committee, and the Vice-Chair of the Senate General Welfare, Health and Human Resources Committee. She was elected the Tennessee Senate Republican Caucus Chairman in 2006.[5]

Aide's email controversy[edit]

In May 2009, Sherri Goforth, a legislative aide in Black's office, circulated a racially charged email depicting a collection of portraits of United States Presidents showing current President Barack Obama as a black frame with only eyeballs visible. The email was denounced as blatant racism. Senator Black's response of reprimanding her employee, Goforth, gained national attention and condemnation.[11] Black opted only to reprimand Goforth, a response which drew heated criticism from local[12] and national[13] blogs, as well as Tennessee Democratic Party Chair Chip Forrester, who called on Black to denounce the email and fire the staffer.[14] Black did denounce the email, said the email did not reflect her views and stated her reprimand was in following with human resources' policy for email guideline violations.[15]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Black is one of three female U.S. Representatives in Congress who identifies as a "congressman"; the others are Republicans Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee and Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming.[16]

2010 election[edit]

In December, 2009, she became a candidate for Tennessee's 6th congressional district to succeed Bart Gordon, who was not running for reelection.[17] Her biggest competitions in the Republican primary came from former Rutherford County GOP chairwoman Lou Ann Zelenik and State Senator Jim Tracy. On August 5, 2010, Black narrowly won the Republican primary with 31% of the vote, over Zelenik and Tracy, who earned 30% each; unlike other Southern states, Tennessee does not have primary runoff elections, so Black prevailed despite not getting a majority.[18] Brett Carter was nominated by the Democrats after well-known elected officials declined the candidacy, which resulted in CQ Politics rating this race as "Safe Republican".[19]

In the November election, Black won handily, taking 67 percent of the vote. However, this was not considered an upset. The 6th had been trending Republican for some time as Nashville's eastern suburbs bled into the western portion of the district from the 1980s onward. The district had increasingly assumed a character similar to other affluent suburban districts in the South. Although Gordon had only faced three reasonably well-funded challengers since winning the seat in 1984, it was considered very likely that the 6th would be taken by a Republican once Gordon retired. As it turned out, national Democrats wrote off the seat as a Republican pickup after no well-known local Democrats expressed interest.

Romney Campaign[edit]

In the 2012 general election, Black was a surrogate for Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney.[20] Black made appearances for Romney in Pennsylvania,[21] Wisconsin,[22] and in various cable news interviews.[23]

Committee assignments[edit]


On October 30, 2013, Black introduced the Student and Family Tax Simplification Act (H.R. 3393; 113th Congress), a bill that would amend the Internal Revenue Code to consolidate several different education tax incentives into an expanded American Opportunity Tax Credit.[24][25] The American Opportunity Tax Credit, under this legislation, would provide a maximum credit of $2,500.[26]

Past Endorsements[edit]

  • Governor Sarah Palin [27]
  • The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) [28]
  • Governor Mitt Romney [29]
  • The National Rifle Association (NRA) [30]
  • Congresswoman Michele Bachmann [31]
  • Former Congressman Alan West [31]
  • Tennessee Right to Life [32]
  • Susan B. Anthony List [33]
  • The U.S. Chamber of Commerce [34]


  1. ^ http://metrolutheran.org/2011/02/112th-congress-opens-with-new-and-returning-lutheran-representation/
  2. ^ "Campaign contributions". OpenSecrets.org. Retrieved 2010-07-12. 
  3. ^ http://thehill.com/capital-living/new-member-of-the-week/240911-rep-blacks-healthcare-prescription-doesnt-include-the-government
  4. ^ Henderson, Nia-Malika; Kucinich, Jackie. "Diane Black (R-Tenn.)". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 23, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "About Diane". Diane Black for Congress. Retrieved 2010-07-12. 
  6. ^ http://health.state.tn.us/licensure/Practitioner.aspx?ProfessionCode=5005&LicenseNumber=13146&FileNumber=13146 Practitioner Profile Data - Tennessee Department of Health
  7. ^ "Biography". Diane Black for State Senate. Retrieved 2010-07-12. 
  8. ^ http://www.rollcall.com/news/-202702-1.html
  9. ^ http://www.aegislabs.com/About_Aegis About Aegis Science Corporation.
  10. ^ http://www.tennessean.com/article/20121003/NEWS/310020091/Rep-Diane-Black-won-t-end-push-more-spending-cuts?nclick_check=1
  11. ^ The GOP's Minority Outreach?
  12. ^ Racist and Ridiculous
  13. ^ Latest Republican Racist Email Features Hilarious Summary of 44 American Presidents
  14. ^ Forrester Demands Sen. Diane Black Fire Staffer Who Sent Racist Email
  15. ^ Black says she followed HR rules on Senate staffer email
  16. ^ Ostermeier, Eric (June 13, 2013). "Meet the Three House Women Who Go by "Congressman"". Smart Politics. 
  17. ^ "Diane Black Joins Race To Succeed Gordon In Congress". WTVF. Associated Press. December 18, 2009. Retrieved 2010-07-12. 
  18. ^ "Tennessee 6th District Race Profile - Election 2010". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-08-07. [dead link]
  19. ^ McArdle, John (March 31, 2010). "Gordon’s Tennessee Seat All But Gone for Democrats". CQ Politics. Retrieved 2010-07-23. 
  20. ^ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/10/romney-may-have-edge-in-battle-of-the-spinners/
  21. ^ http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=419890
  22. ^ http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2012/sep/22/tennesseans-head-elsewhere-for-presidential/?print=1
  23. ^ Video on YouTube
  24. ^ Cohn, Michael (24 July 2014). "House Passes Student Tax Credit Simplification Bill". Accounting Today. Retrieved 25 July 2014. 
  25. ^ "H.R. 3393 - Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved 25 July 2014. 
  26. ^ Marcos, Cristina (24 July 2014). "House passess tax credit for college expenses". The Hill. Retrieved 25 July 2014. 
  27. ^ http://www.sarahpac.com/candidates?page=7
  28. ^ http://www.nfib.com/article/?cmsid=60648
  29. ^ http://blogs.tennessean.com/politics/2010/mitt-romney-endorses-diane-black/
  30. ^ http://www.nba.com/
  31. ^ a b http://www.realclearpolitics.com/news/ap/politics/2012/Jul/29/black__zelenik_battle_for_6th_district_again.html
  32. ^ Video on YouTube
  33. ^ http://www.sba-list.org/endorsed-candidates
  34. ^ http://blogs.tennessean.com/politics/2012/diane-black-announces-chamber-endorsement/

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Bart Gordon
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Tennessee's 6th congressional district

January 3, 2011 – present
Succeeded by
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Dan Benishek
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Mo Brooks