Marsha Blackburn (born June 6, 1952 in Laurel, Mississippi) is a Tennessee politician. A member of the Republican Party (GOP), she represents Tennessee’s 7th congressional district, which stretches from the suburbs of Nashville to the suburbs of Memphis.
She graduated from Mississippi State University where she also spent a few summers working with the Southwestern Company. Blackburn now lives in Brentwood, a suburb of Nashville. It is located in Williamson County, the state’s richest county and, since the 1980s, a Republican stronghold. A Mississippi native, she began her political career in 1977 as a founding member of the Williamson County Young Republicans. She served as chairwoman of the Williamson County Republican Party from 1989 to 1991.
Blackburn’s elective political career began in 1992, when she won the Republican nomination for the 6th District, which at the time included her home in Brentwood. She lost by 16 percentage points to longtime congressman Bart Gordon. In 1995, she was appointed chairwoman of the Tennessee Film, Entertainment and Music Commission. She won elective office for the first time in 1998, when she was elected to the Tennessee State Senate, representing Williamson County and a sliver of Davidson County. She led efforts to prevent the passage of a state income tax championed by Governor Don Sundquist.