Diane Lynn Black (born January 16, 1951) is the U.S. Representative for Tennessee's 6th congressional district. The district includes several suburban and rural areas east of Nashville. She is a member of the Republican Party. She is formerly 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
Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Black graduated from Andover High School 1969 Linthicum, Md Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold, Maryland with an associate's degree in nursing in 1971.
She graduated from Belmont University with a bachelor's degree in nursing in 1991 and worked as a Registered Nurse. Later she has also served as an educator at Volunteer State Community College. She lives with her husband Dave in Gallatin, Tennessee, a suburb of Nashville. Her net worth is almost $29 million because of her husband's stake in Aegis Sciences Corp.
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.
Aide's email controversy
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. Black opted only to reprimand Goforth, a response which drew heated criticism from local and national blogs, as well as Tennessee Democratic Party Chair Chip Forrester, who called on Black to denounce the email and fire the staffer. 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.
U.S. House of Representatives
In December, 2009, she became a candidate for Tennessee's 6th congressional district to succeed Bart Gordon, who was not running for reelection. 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, Diane narrowly won the Republican primary with 31% of the vote, over Zelenik and Tracy, who earned 30% each. 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".
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 district. National Democrats had all but written off the seat as a Republican pickup after no well-known local Democrats expressed interest.
- Committee on the Budget
- Committee on Ways and Means
- Subcommittee on Human Resources
- Tea Party Caucus
- Republican Study Committee
February 9th, 2012