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Tennessee Rep. Jim Cooper, one of the few members of the Blue Dog Coalition to win re-election in 2010, filed Thursday to run again in 2012.
The early filing, standard practice for Members wanting another term, comes as dozens of his fellow Blue Dogs lost their seats and are soul searching over whether to try again in two years when the environment might improve.
Cooper, who represents the Nashville area, coasted to victory over his 2010 opponent, Republican David Hall, even as other Democrats in the state’s delegation weren’t so lucky. Tennessee Democrats lost three seats in the midterm elections. Cooper is one of two Democrats who will remain in the state’s Congressional delegation; the other is Rep. Steve Cohen, who represents Memphis.
This also means that Cooper, one of the highest-ranking elected Democrats in Tennessee, won’t run against Sen. Bob Corker (R) in 2012. Cooper served in the House from 1982 until 1994, when he ran against Republican Fred Thompson for then-Sen. Al Gore’s seat. He took a break from politics but returned to the House after the 2002 elections.
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