Tennessee's 4th congressional district
|Tennessee's 4th congressional district|
Tennessee's 4th congressional district - since January 3, 2013.
|Current Representative||Scott DesJarlais (R–South Pittsburg)|
The district lies in mostly in the southern part of Middle Tennessee, but stretches into East Tennessee. It is currently composed of the following counties: Bedford, Bledsoe, Franklin, Grundy, Lincoln, Marion, Marshall, Meigs, Moore, Rhea, Rutherford, Sequatchie, and Warren. It also contains significant portions of Bradley, Maury, and Van Buren counties.
Most of the district is rural, but many residents live in suburbs of Chattanooga and Nashville. The area is very hilly, and has many well-known geographical features related to its location on the Cumberland Plateau. Possibly the most famous of these is Fall Creek Falls in Van Buren County.
Throughout the 20th century, the 4th district took many different forms. Though, in most cases, it encompassed most of the rural area between Nashville and Knoxville. It has often been the state's largest district in terms of area, and one of the largest east of the Mississippi River, because of low population density and the district's rural character.
For almost thirty years (1947-1977), this area of Tennessee was represented in Congress by Joe L. Evins. (Early in his political career, his district was numbered as the "5th", but that district was almost entirely in what became the 4th after the 1950s round of redistricting.)  Evins' successor in Congress was future vice president Al Gore, Jr., who represented the 4th from 1977 to 1983.
The district's current configuration dates from he 1980 census, when Tennessee gained a new congressional seat. Parts of what were previously in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 6th districts were combined to form a new 4th district. Most of Gore's territory became the 6th district.
The new district took pieces of traditional heavily Republican East Tennessee and traditionally Democratic Middle Tennessee. It was so large that it stretched across five of Tennessee's eight television markets (Nashville, Knoxville, Chattanooga, the Tri-Cities, as well as the Tennessee share of the Huntsville, Alabama market). 
In 1982, Democrat Jim Cooper, son of former governor Prentice Cooper defeated Cissy Baker, daughter of Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker. Cooper went on to represent the district for the rest of the 80s and early 90s.  On paper, this district was not safe for either party, given its volatile demographics. Much of the eastern portion of the district, for instance, had not been represented by a Democrat since before the Civil War. However, Cooper was reelected five times without serious difficulty.
Cooper gave up his seat to run for Senate in 1994, where he lost to Fred Thompson. He was succeeded by Republican Van Hilleary in the massive Republican wave of that year. Hillary was reelected three times without much difficulty, handily winning a second term even as Bill Clinton carried the district due to Gore's presence as his running mate.
In 2010, Davis was challenged by South Pittsburg doctor Scott DesJarlais, who rode to victory on the Tea Party wave of 2010 despite Davis raising more money.  This marked the first time that an incumbent had been defeated in the district since the reformation of the district in 1980.
Following the DesJarlais victory and the 2010 census, the 4th was made slightly more compact. The district lost its northern portion, including its territory near the Tri-Cities and Knoxville. On the other hand, the 4th gained significant additions with Rutherford County and northern Bradley County.
List of representatives
|District created March 4, 1813|
|John H. Bowen||March 4, 1813 - March 4, 1815||Democratic-Republican|
|Bennett H. Henderson||March 4, 1815 - March 4, 1817||Democratic-Republican|
|Samuel E. Hogg||March 4, 1817 - March 4, 1819||Democratic-Republican|
|Robert Allen||March 4, 1819 - March 4, 1823||Democratic-Republican||Redistricted to the 5th district|
|Jacob C. Isacks||March 4, 1823 - March 4, 1825||Jacksonian D-R||Winchester|
|March 4, 1825 - March 4, 1833||Jacksonian|
|James I. Standifer||March 4, 1833 - March 4, 1835||Jacksonian||Kingston||Redistricted from the 3rd district|
|March 4, 1835 - March 4, 1837||Anti-Jacksonian|
|March 4, 1837 - August 20, 1837||Whig||Died|
|Vacant||August 20, 1837 - September 14, 1837|
|William Stone||September 14, 1837 - March 4, 1839||Whig||Sequatchie County|
|Julius W. Blackwell||March 4, 1839 - March 4, 1841||Democratic||Athens|
|Thomas J. Campbell||March 4, 1841 - March 4, 1843||Whig||Rhea County|
|Alvan Cullom||March 4, 1843 - March 4, 1847||Democratic||Livingston|
|Hugh Hill||March 4, 1847 - March 4, 1849||Democratic||McMinnville|
|John H. Savage||March 4, 1849 - March 4, 1853||Democratic||Smithville|
|William Cullom||March 4, 1853 - March 4, 1855||Whig||Carthage||Redistricted from the 8th district|
|John H. Savage||March 4, 1855 - March 4, 1859||Democratic||Smithville|
|William B. Stokes||March 4, 1859 - March 4, 1861||Opposition||Alexandria|
|Andrew J. Clements||March 4, 1861 - March 4, 1863||Unionist||Lafayette|
|American Civil War|
|Edmund Cooper||July 24, 1866 - March 4, 1867||Unionist||Shelbyville|
|James Mullins||March 4, 1867 - March 4, 1869||Republican||Shelbyville|
|Lewis Tillman||March 4, 1869 - March 4, 1871||Republican||Shelbyville|
|John M. Bright||March 4, 1871 -March 4, 1875||Democratic||Fayetteville||Redistricted to the 5th district|
|Samuel M. Fite||March 4, 1875 - October 23, 1875||Democratic||Carthage||Died|
|Vacant||October 23, 1875 - December 14, 1875|
|Haywood Y. Riddle||December 14, 1875 - March 4, 1879||Democratic||Lebanon|
|Benton McMillin||March 4, 1879 - January 6, 1899||Democratic||Celina||Resigned after being elected Governor|
|Vacant||January 6, 1899 - March 4, 1899|
|Charles E. Snodgrass||March 4, 1899 - March 4, 1903||Democratic||Crossville|
|Morgan C. Fitzpatrick||March 4, 1903 - March 4, 1905||Democratic||Hartsville|
|Mounce G. Butler||March 4, 1905 - March 4, 1907||Democratic||Gainesboro|
|Cordell Hull||March 4, 1907 - March 4, 1921||Democratic||Celina|
|Wynne F. Clouse||March 4, 1921 - March 4, 1923||Republican||Cookeville|
|Cordell Hull||March 4, 1923 - March 4, 1931||Democratic||Celina|
|John R. Mitchell||March 4, 1931 - January 3, 1939||Democratic||Crossville|
|Albert Gore, Sr.||January 3, 1939 - December 4, 1944||Democratic||Carthage||Resigned December 4, 1944 to enter US Army|
|Vacant||December 4, 1944 - January 3, 1945|
|Albert Gore, Sr.||January 3, 1945 - January 3, 1953||Democratic||Carthage|
|Joe L. Evins||January 3, 1953 - January 3, 1977||Democratic||Smithville||Redistricted from the 5th district|
|Al Gore||January 3, 1977 - January 3, 1983||Democratic||Carthage||Redistricted to the 6th district|
|Jim Cooper||January 3, 1983 - January 3, 1995||Democratic||Shelbyville|
|Van Hilleary||January 3, 1995 - January 3, 2003||Republican||Spring City|
|Lincoln Davis||January 3, 2003 - January 3, 2011||Democratic||Pall Mall|
|Scott DesJarlais||January 3, 2011 - Present||Republican||South Pittsburg||Incumbent|
Historical district boundaries
- "Partisan Voting Index – Districts of the 115th Congress" (PDF). The Cook Political Report. April 7, 2017. Retrieved April 7, 2017.
- Martis, Kenneth C. (1989). The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.
- Martis, Kenneth C. (1982). The Historical Atlas of United States Congressional Districts. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.
- Congressional Biographical Directory of the United States 1774–present
- Political Graveyard database of Tennessee congressmen
Congress.com: Tennessee Congressional districts
- Google map of Tennessee's 4th district at GovTrack.us
- National Atlas maps of all congressional districts
- U.S. Census data searchable by congressional district
- Opensecrets.org Fundraising data from FEC reports
- 2006 results by county from CBSNews.com