Tag Archives: Stephen Fincher

Congressional race roundup, District Eight

Sen. Roy Herron of Dresden announced last week that he is not running for re-election. Herron, a longtime state legislator who started a 2010 run for governor and then switched to the 8th Congressional District race, which he lost to U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher, also said that he will not seek a rematch against Fincher.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has repeatedly announced that this district is one that they are “targeting,” although their more recent focus seems to be the Fourth. One reason might be the lack of a candidate in West Tennessee. The DCCC has apparently had its eye on Sen. Lowe Finney as another possibility, but Finney has so far indicated that he will not be answering the recruiting call. He chairs the upper legislative chamber’s Democratic caucus, which may play into his reluctance to run for Congress.

No other prominent Democrats are known to be looking at this race.

But lest Fincher feel too safe, he should note that he, like his fellow freshmen to the east, is statistically at his most vulnerable for a primary challenge this term. (Aside: will U.S. Rep. Diane Black also face a challenger? She may, but she’s probably not in any danger of losing her seat.)

One elected official wanting to see about changing offices is Memphis City Council member Kemp Conrad. By the way, U.S. Sen. Kent Conrad is retiring, and thus makes room for a similarly named Capitol Hill denizen—although the mailroom clerks may have a tough year or two regardless.

Jackson Baker also gives us some other names to ponder:

Others whose names have figured in speculation include former 8th District candidate and ex-Shelby County Commissioner George Flinn; former U.S. Attorney David Kustoff, who ran for Congress in the7th District in 2002; state Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris; and state Senator Brian Kelsey.

Fincher has detractors on his left and on his right, although it’s not clear that he’s regularly seen as a centrist. Will he be able to hang on to the big middle from his right-of-center perch? At this early point in the race, all signs point to “Yes.”

No Grey Poupon for DesJarlais staff

The Tennessean‘s Elizabeth Bewley reports that Tennessee’s congressional freshmen have kept a tight budget as compared with their colleagues. In particular, U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais had spent less than half of his budget by the end of the third quarter.

Republican Reps. Diane Black of Gallatin, Stephen Fincher of Frog Jump, Scott DesJarlais of Jasper and Chuck Fleischmann of Ooltewah have spent a smaller portion of their annual office budgets than their more senior colleagues, according to a Gannett Washington Bureau analysis of records from the first three quarters of the year.

The one area cited in the article in which the four freshmen outspent most of their delegation colleagues is printing and postage.

What do you think? Is this frugal approach cutting the mustard?

(You kind of need to remember this to get the full effect here.)

Herron eyes rematch with Fincher

The Jackson Sun asked a few people for some details about the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s choice to target Tennessee’s 8th District as a possible pick-up (or take-back, given that they only last year lost the seat).

Sen. Roy Herron (D-Dresden), who dropped out of the 2010 gubernatorial race upon former U.S. Rep. John Tanner’s retirement, won the congressional primary, but lost to U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher in the general election, confirmed verbally that he “plans to run” again in 2012, according to the report.

Another name that has been listed as a possibility is Sen. Lowe Finney (D-Jackson), who chairs his party’s Senate caucus. As Dan Turnbow indicated on Twitter, the 27th District will likely look more favorable to Republicans after redistricting.

Independent candidate James Hart is so far the only challenger to formally declare against Fincher.

Deuce of Harts

Out in the West Tennessee wilds, two challengers are tackling the long-odds task of unseating two different incumbent congressmen, and these challengers share a last name—though likely not a whole lot else.

James L. Hart: well, certainly you remember him. Back when the Eighth District was represented by a Democrat (John Tanner), Hart would try to run as a Republican every cycle. In 2004, he successfully captured the nomination. He has been barred by the Tennessee Republican Party from running on the GOP ticket ever since; and this time, he is running as an independent candidate. Hart holds views on race that are quite controversial, to say the least. He is running against U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher.

Tomeka Hart: Ms. Hart is a Memphis City School Board member and president of the Memphis Urban League. The city school system is in a state of transition towards merging with the county system, following a charter surrender drive that Ms. Hart supported. She is running against U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen in the Ninth District Democratic primary. In each election cycle since Cohen took office, he has had primary opposition from at least one African-American candidate: Nikki Tinker in 2008, former Memphis mayor Willie Herenton in 2010, and now Tomeka Hart. The latter so far hasn’t made overt references to Cohen’s race or religion, both of which have been brought up in past elections.

The voter guide has been updated to include these candidates.

Tennessee congressional incumbents raise millions for 2012

A Gannett report last week identified U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher as the top recipient of campaign funds among Tennessee’s U.S. House delegation in the most recent reporting period (July – September 2011).

A quick glance at OpenSecrets.org shows that U.S. Rep. John J. “Jimmy” Duncan is the House member with the most cash on-hand, with $1,534,506. U.S. Sen. Bob Corker is sitting on more than $6.5 million.

In the Third District, U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann shows a total of $410,439 raised so far in the 2012 election cycle. Fleischmann hosts U.S. House Speaker John Boehner at a fundraiser later this week. A donation of $1,000 will get one into the general reception; a $2,500 check means a photo opportunity with the Speaker.

No numbers are yet available for Fleischmann’s GOP primary rivals, Jean Howard-Hill and Weston Wamp.

In the Eighth District, independent candidate James Hart has raised $502 compared to Fincher’s $943,564.

In the Ninth District, Tomeka Hart, a Democratic Party primary challenger to incumbent U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, has reported zero dollars raised. Cohen has raised close to a quarter million dollars.