15

An example:

US Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) wants to make sure the Federal Communications Commission never interferes with "states' rights" to protect private Internet service providers from having to compete against municipal broadband networks.

From: http://arstechnica.com/business/2014/07/congresswoman-defends-states-rights-to-protect-isps-from-muni-competition

Looks like some kind of an abbreviation to me.

17

It means that the person is a Republican member of Congress from the state of Tennessee.

The "(X-YY)" convention is widely used in the news media to refer to current and former members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, with X denoting the person's political party (usually R for Republican or D for Democratic) and YY denoting the state he or she represents. (See this page for the official list of two-letter state abbreviations.)

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    We are increasingly also seeing "I" for Independent, which means they don't come from the Republican or Democrat parties - the name of their party isn't used, instead opting for I. Candidates from the Green Party are labeled with "I" for example, not G. – Jasmine Jul 16 '14 at 19:20

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