Sontany not seeking re-election in 2012

Friday, February 10, 2012, Vol. 36, No. 6

NASHVILLE (AP) - State Rep. Janis Sontany said Wednesday that she will not seek re-election in 2012.

The Nashville Democrat said in a statement that the decision was tough, but that she's looking forward to spending more time with her family, "especially my granddaughter."

Sontany has represented House District 53 - which includes parts of Nashville in Davidson County - since 2003.

Some of her legislation includes mandating sprinklers in all Tennessee nursing homes, and including pets in orders of protection for victims of domestic violence.

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Turner of Nashville said he believes a newly redrawn district by Republicans influenced Sontany's decision. He said the redistricting "pushed her more south, and she only got about 25 percent of her original district."

Turner said Sontany will be missed.

"She's one of the best representatives we've had up here," he said. "It's sad she's going to be leaving. I will miss her tremendously."

Sontany is the fifth Democratic lawmaker to announce she won't run for re-election in the fall.

The others are Sen. Joe Haynes of Goodlettsville and Rep. Harry Tindell of Knoxville, and Sens. Roy Herron of Dresden and Eric Stewart of Belvidere, who is running for Congress.