Janis Baird Sontany

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Janis Baird Sontany
Janis Baird Sontany.jpg
Tennessee House of Representatives District 53
In office
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 2, 2010
First elected2002
Term limitsN/A
High schoolGlencliff High School, 1964
Date of birthAugust 9, 1946
Place of birthDavidson County, TN
Office website
Janis Baird Sontany (b. August 9, 1946) is a former Democratic member of the Tennessee House of Representatives, representing the 53rd District from 2002-2012.

Sontany served as a member of the Metro Council of the City of Nashville from 1995 to 2003. She joined the Tennessee State House of Representatives in 2003 and served in that position until 2012.

Sontany is a retired Customer Service Representative for DuPont Corporation.

Sontany received her diploma from Glencliff High School in 1964. She then attended the University of Tennessee - Nashville.


At a meeting of Democratic politicians over the June 12-13, 2010 weekend, Sontany said of women Republican lawmakers in Tennessee, "You have to lift their skirts to find out if they are women. You sure can't find out by how they vote!"[1]

These remarks sparked a controversy that the press in Tennessee dubbed "Skirt-gate."[2] Sontany said of her comment, "That was a glib, off-the-cuff remark that I made that I really wish I had not done. It was not one of my better thought-out statements and I did not mean it to offend. If I have offended anyone, I'm certainly sorry that I did."[1]

National conservative blogger Michelle Malkin said, "When liberals can’t handle GOP women, they infantilize, sexualize, demonize, and dehumanize them."[3]

Committee assignments


In the 2011-2012 legislative session, Sontany served on these committees:


In the 2009-2010 legislative session, Sontany served on these committees:

Subcommittee on Criminal Practice and Procedure, Vice Chair



Sontany did not run for re-election in 2012.[4]


See also: Tennessee House of Representatives elections, 2010

Sontany was re-elected to the 53rd District seat in 2010. She defeated independent Daniel Lewis and Republican Tonya Miller in the general election on November 2, 2010. She was unopposed in the August 5 primary.[5][6]


On Nov. 4, 2008, Sontany won re-election to the 53rd District Seat in the Tennessee House of Representatives.[7]

Sontany raised $35,555 for her campaign.[8]

Tennessee House of Representatives, District 53 (2008)
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png Janis Baird Sontany (D) 14,513

Campaign donors


In 2010, Sontany received $68,590 in campaign donations. The top contributors are listed below.[9]


Sontany raised $35,555 in the 2008 election cycle.

Her major contributors are listed below.[10]

Donor Amount
Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association $2,500
Tennessee Healthcare Corp $2,000
Tennessee Highway Contractors $1,500
Tennessee Healthcare Association $1,500
Tennessee Bankers Association $1,500


Sontany has two children.

External links

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Political offices
Preceded by
Tennessee House of Representatives District 53
Succeeded by
Jason Powell (D)