Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 13, 2016

Posts in "Tenn.-8"

February 1, 2016

Tennessee’s Stephen Fincher Won’t Run in 2016

UNITED STATES - JUNE 3: Rep. Stephen Fincher, R-Tenn., participates in the House Financial Services Committee hearing on "Examining the Export-Import Bank's Reauthorization Request and the Government's Role in Export Financing" on Wednesday, June 3, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Fincher will not seek a fourth term. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 5:12 p.m. Tennessee Republican Stephen Fincher announced Monday that he would not seek a fourth U.S. House term.

“I am humbled by the opportunity to serve the people of West Tennessee, but I never intended to become a career politician. The last six years have been the opportunity of a lifetime, and I am honored to have been given the chance to serve,” Fincher said in a statement.

A fierce proponent of reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank, Fincher, a member of the Financial Services Committee, split with leadership over the issue and last fall led the effort to reauthorize the bank via discharge petition. Earlier in 2015, Republicans in the House had let the export credit agency’s authorization expire.

First elected in 2010, Fincher won re-election in 2014 with 70 percent of the vote. Republicans have carried his district at the presidential level by comfortable double-digit margins.

Shelby County is the district’s biggest Republican base. “So long as the potential primary doesn’t get diced up, any name that comes out of east Shelby County would have a good jumping off point,” one Republican in the state said.

Among those who Republican sources mentioned as potential candidates are:

  • State Sen. Brian Kelsey has already said he will run and is expected to be a strong contender.
  • Another favorite would be state Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, who sources say has a substantial following and has been behind conservative reforms within the state party. He’s also been mentioned as a 2018 gubernatorial candidate.
  • State Sen. Ed Jackson
  • Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich
  • Shelby County GOP Chairman Mary Wagner, a lawyer in Memphis.
  • Republican National Committee General Counsel and committeeman John Ryder.
  • Former U.S. Attorney David Kustoff, who said on Monday he is running.
  • Scott Golden, Fincher’s district director and a member of the Tennessee GOP State Executive Committee.
  • Radiologist George Flinn, a perennial candidate and self-funder, who placed third in 2014’s Senate primary against Sen. Lamar Alexander.
  • Ron Kirkland, a doctor who lost to Fincher in the 2010 primary. He hails from Jackson, the other major GOP population center in the district, and has been an advocate for Gov. Bill Haslam’s Insure TN plan to expand Medicaid.
  • Matthew Stowe, district attorney general for the 24th judicial district, who clerked for former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.
  • State Rep. Bill Sanderson of Dyersburg
  • State Rep. Steve McManus
  • Among state legislators who may excite tea party supporters are state Sen. John Stevens and state Rep. Andy Holt.
  • Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell is expected to be able to raise money.

The primary race for the safe Republican seat will likely be crowded and with the filing deadline not until April 7, there’s plenty of time for more names to emerge. Many Republicans who had been eyeing this seat, one Republican source said, were banking on Fincher not making moves until 2018 and were caught off guard by his Monday announcement.  “The question is, who can ramp up their operation at the drop of a hat?” the source said. So far, Norris and Kelsey are the two most widely-cited front runners.

Fincher is the 22nd member to retire this cycle, bringing this cycle’s total up to the average number of House retirements per cycle since 1976. Wisconsin Rep. Reid Ribble announced his retirement over the weekend, setting off a crowded race to replace him.

Contact Pathé at simonepathe@rollcall.com and follow her on Twitter at @sfpathe.

Related:

Roll Call Race Ratings Map: Ratings for Every House and Senate Race in 2016

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.

October 7, 2015

Three Races in Which Export-Import Bank Could Be an Issue

Walberg opposes reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, and his Democratic opponent is ready to make it an issue in Michigan's  7th District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Walberg opposes reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, and his Democratic opponent is ready to make it an issue in Michigan’s 7th District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 11:20 a.m. | In a handful of competitive races around the country, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and its recruits intend to make an issue of the Export-Import Bank charter’s lapse, especially now that large American corporations are blaming Congress for lost contracts and American jobs.

The jobs General Electric will create overseas either already exist or would have been created in Maine, New York, Texas and South Carolina.

Full story

January 26, 2012

New Tennessee Map Cements GOP Dominance

Republican Rep. Stephen Fincher

GOP Rep. Stephen Fincher’s district grows more Republican under Tennessee’s new map, which was signed into law today. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam (R) signed a new Congressional redistricting map into law today, protecting incumbents and shoring up the Republican majority in the Volunteer State. Full story

Sign In

Forgot password?

Or

Subscribe

Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...