Tuesday Trivia: NE Tennessee's congressmen

Johnson City Press • Jun 19, 2018 at 8:30 AM

As Phil Roe makes his bid for a sixth term in the U.S. House of Representatives, he faces challenges from three Republicans for his party’s nomination in the August primary. The winner will face Democratic and Independent candidates in November.

How long have Republicans held the 1st Congressional District seat in Tennessee?

— Roe is the 15th consecutive Republican to hold the seat, including B. Carroll Reece, who regained the seat twice after losing renomination in the previous primaries.

— It has been 137 years since a Democrat held the office. The last was Robert Love Taylor, who served a single term from 1879-81. His brother, Alf Taylor, represented the district as a Republican from 1889-95. Both brothers later served as Tennessee governor.

— The only other Democrat elected from the district since the Civil War was William McFarland, a Cocke County resident who served a single term from 1875-77.

— James H. “Jimmy” Quillen represented the district for the most consecutive terms: 17 terms from 1961-95.

— One U.S. president held the seat. Andrew Johnson, who succeeded Abraham Lincoln after the assassination, was the 1st District congressman from 1843-53.

— The district’s first congressman was Greene County resident John Rhea, who served from 1803-15 and 1817-23 as a Democratic-Republican. The Irish immigrant was a member of the militia that defeated British loyalists at the Battle of Kings Mountain in 1780. Rhea had been a delegate to the convention that ratified the U.S. Constitution in 1789, and in 1796, he was a delegate to the constitutional convention of Tennessee.

Sources: U.S. Government, Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

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