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===American response in Syria===
{{Syria letter|Name=Matheson}}
===Campaign themes===
===Campaign themes===

Revision as of 09:22, 2 September 2013

Jim Matheson
Jim Matheson.jpg
U.S. House, Utah, District 4
In office
January 3, 2001-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 14
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First electedNovember 7, 2000
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Campaign $$12,940,428
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sHarvard University
Master'sUniversity of California
Date of birthMarch 21, 1960
Place of birthSalt Lake City, Utah
Net worth$989,013
ReligionThe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon)
Office website
Campaign website
James David "Jim" Matheson (b. March 21, 1960, in Salt Lake City, Utah) is a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives from the state of Utah. Matheson represents Utah's 4th congressional district and was first elected to the House in 2000. Due to redistricting, he ran for re-election in 2012 for District 4 after previously representing the 2nd district. He won the newly created District 4 seat on November 6, 2012.[1]

According to a March 2012 article in Roll Call, Matheson was one of the top ten most vulnerable incumbents.[2]

Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Matheson is a more moderate left of center Democratic Party vote. As a result, he may break with the Democratic Party line more than his fellow members.

Matheson serves as one of the Chief Deputy Whips of the Democratic caucus for the 113th Congress.[3]


Matheson was born in Salt Lake City, Utah. He earned his B.A. from Harvard University in 1982 and his M.B.A. from the University of California in 1987.[4]


Below is an abbreviated outline of Matheson's academic, professional and political career:[5]

Committee assignments

U.S. House


Matheson serves on the following committees:[6]


Matheson was a member of the following House committees:[5]


American response in Syria

More than 100 House lawmakers signed a letter urging President Barack Obama to call Congress back into session if he planned to use military force in Syria.[8]

Rep. Scott Rigell wrote in the letter in August 2013, “engaging our military in Syria when no direct threat to the United States exists and without prior congressional authorization would violate the separation of powers that is clearly delineated in the Constitution.”[8][9]

The members of Congress believed that Obama should have asked Congress for permission before engaging in Libya. The letter asked, “If the use of 221 Tomahawk cruise missles, [sic] 704 Joint Direct Attack Munitions, and 42 Predator Hellfire missiles expended in Libya does not constitute ‘hostilities,’ what does?”[9]

The letter stated, “If you deem that military action in Syria is necessary, Congress can reconvene at your request. We stand ready to come back into session, consider the facts before us, and share the burden of decisions made regarding U.S. involvement in the quickly escalating Syrian conflict."[9]

A total of 98 Republicans signed the letter. Matheson was one of 18 Democratic members to sign the letter.[9]

Campaign themes


According to Matheson's website, his campaign themes included:

  • Small Businesses: "...worked to provide tax, lending and investment incentives to small businesses so that they can grow and hire."
  • Budget: "...believes it is fiscally reckless and morally wrong to pile debt on future generations...the only way to turn things around is to make serious structural changes to the federal budget process."
  • Healthcare: " We pay too much and get too little out of our system and the costs are driving our country deeper into debt."[10]

Specific votes

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "No" Matheson voted for the fiscal cliff compromise bill, which made permanent most of the Bush tax cuts originally passed in 2001 and 2003 while also raising tax rates on the highest income levels. He was 1 of 16 Democrats that voted against the bill. The bill was passed in the House by a 257-167 vote on January 1, 2013.[11]

Speaker of the House vote

In January 2013, Matheson broke with fellow Democratic members to cast his vote for Michigan representative John Dingell (D) for Speaker of the House instead of California's 12th congressional district representative, Nancy Pelosi (D). The vote was largely symbolic, however, because Ohio's 8th congressional district representative, John Boehner (R), easily won re-election to the position. [12]

House vote on abortion ban

Yea3.png On June 18, 2013, the House voted 228-196 on HR1797, mostly along party lines, to approve a ban on abortions occurring after 20 weeks of pregnancy.[13][14][15] A number of members crossed over party lines in their votes. The vote was largely symbolic, as the Senate was not expected to take up the bill, and the White House threatened to veto the legislation.[16] Matheson was one of six Democratic members who voted in favor of the ban.



See also: Utah's 4th congressional district elections, 2014

According to a Washington Post article in December 2012, Matheson is one of the 10 most vulnerable incumbents in 2014.[17]

The National Republican Congressional Committee listed Matheson's seat as one of seven early targets in the 2014 congressional elections.[18] The seven targets align perfectly with the seven most Republican districts currently held by Democrats, according to FairVote's partisanship index. Matheson's district ranks as the 2nd most Republican (39% D).[19]

Matheson is a member of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's Frontline Program. The program is designed to help protect vulnerable Democratic incumbents heading into the 2014 election.[20]

On May 19, 2013, Republican Mia Love announced she will run against Matheson in a re-match of the 2012 election for Utah's 4th Congressional District seat.[21]


Due to district boundary changes following the 2011 redistricting, Matheson ran for re-election in Utah's 4th congressional district in 2012. He ran unopposed in the Democratic primary and defeated Mia Love (R) in the general election on November 6, 2012.[22][23]

According to the website Daily Kos, this race was one of nine top-ballot 2012 races that contained Libertarian candidates who received more total votes than was the difference between the Democratic winner and the GOP runner-up. In this case, Jim Vein took in over 3,000 more votes than the number that separated Matheson and Love.[24]

U.S. House, Utah District 4 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngJim Matheson Incumbent 48.8% 119,803
     Republican Mia B. Love 48.5% 119,035
     Libertarian Jim L. Vein 2.6% 6,439
Total Votes 245,277
Source: Utah Lieutenant Governor "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"

Full history



Jim Matheson V. Mia Love
Poll Jim Matheson Mia LoveMargin of ErrorSample Size
Mason-Dixon Polling & Research
(October 29-31, 2012)
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Matheson is available dating back to 2000. Based on available campaign finance records, Matheson raised a total of $12,940,428 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 2, 2013.[31]

Jim Matheson's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 US House (Utah, District 4) Won $2,360,398
2010 US House (Utah, District 4) Won $1,803,801
2008 US House (Utah, District 4) Won $1,789,766
2006 US House (Utah, District 4) Won $1,860,573
2004 US House (Utah, District 4) Won $1,966,015
2002 US House (Utah, District 4) Won $1,464,613
2000 US House (Utah, District 4) Won $1,695,262
Grand Total Raised $12,940,428


Candidates for Congress are required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Matheson's reports.[32]

Jim Matheson (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[33]4/15/2013$16,841.59$287,872.15$(63,655.95)$241,057.79
July Quarterly[34]7/15/2013$241,057.79$257,493.44$(38,194.83)$460,356.40
Running totals


Breakdown of the source of Matheson's campaign funds before the 2012 election.

Matheson won re-election to the U.S. House in 2012. During that re-election cycle, Matheson's campaign committee raised a total of $2,360,399 and spent $2,383,305.[35]

Cost per vote

Matheson spent $19.89 per vote received in 2012.

On October 15, 2012, quarterly reports were submitted by campaigns to the Federal Election Commission. The political blog Daily Kos did an analysis of the fundraising figures and found Republican challenger Mia Love outraised Democratic incumbent Jim Matheson in the third quarter. Love raised $999,000 and had $457,000 in cash-on-hand while Matheson raised $469,000 and had $307,000 in cash-on-hand.[36]


Breakdown of the source of Matheson's campaign funds before the 2010 election.

Matheson won re-election to the U.S. House in 2010. During that re-election cycle, Matheson's campaign committee raised a total of $1,803,801 and spent $2,465,527.[37]


Like-minded colleagues

The website OpenCongress tracks the voting records of each member to determine with whom he or she votes most and least often. The results include a member from each party.[38]

Matheson most often votes with:

Matheson least often votes with:

Ideology and leadership

See also: GovTrack's Political Spectrum & Legislative Leadership ranking

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Matheson is a "centrist Democrat," as of June 26, 2013.[39]

Lifetime voting record

See also: Lifetime voting records of United States Senators and Representatives

According to the website GovTrack, Matheson missed 82 of 8,664 roll call votes from January 2001 to April 2013. This amounts to .9%, which is better than the median of 2.1% among current congressional representatives as of April 2013.[40]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Matheson paid his congressional staff a total of $1,017,997 in 2011. Overall, Utah ranks 17th in average salary for representative staff. The average U.S. House of Representatives congressional staff was paid $954,912.20 in fiscal year 2011.[41]

Net worth

See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org, Matheson's net worth as of 2011 was estimated between $558,026 and $1,420,000. That averages to $989,013, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic representatives in 2011 of $5,107,874. His average net worth increased by 3.4% from 2010.[42]


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org, Matheson's net worth as of 2010 was estimated between $543,025 to $1,370,000. That averages to $956,512.50, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic representatives in 2010 of $4,465,875.[43]

National Journal vote ratings


Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year. Matheson is 1 of 2 members who ranked 185th in the liberal rankings in 2012.[44]


See also: National Journal vote ratings

Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year. Matheson was one of two members of congress who ranked 189th in the liberal rankings.[45]

Political positions

Voting with party


Matheson voted with the Democratic Party 64.2% of the time, which ranked 201st among the 201 House Democratic members as of June 2013.[46]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Jim + Matheson + Utah + House

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

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Matheson and his wife, Amy, have two children.[5]

External links


  1. Politico "2012 Election Map"
  2. Roll Call "Top 10 Vulnerable: Targets on Their Backs," March 16, 2012
  3. Office of the Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer "Hoyer Announces Whip Team for the 113th Congress," January 4, 2013
  4. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress "MATHESON, James David (Jim), (1960 - )"
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Official House website "Biography," Accessed November 2, 2011
  6. CQ.com, House Committee Rosters for the 113th Congress
  7. House Energy & Commerce Committee "Subcommittees"
  8. 8.0 8.1 Yahoo, "65 Lawmakers Ask Obama to Consult on Syria," accessed August 28, 2013
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Politico, "33 lawmakers: Congress must approve Syria action," accessed August 28, 2013
  10. Matheson for Congress, "Issues," Accessed September 19, 2012
  11. U.S. House "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff" Accessed January 4, 2013.
  12. The Washington Post, "Election of the Speaker," Accessed June 14, 2013
  13. THOMAS (Library of Congress), "H.R. 1797," accessed June 23, 2013
  14. CNN, "House passes late term abortion ban," accessed June 20, 2013
  15. U.S. House, "June 18 Roll Call Vote," accessed June 20, 2013
  16. Politico, "House OKs 20-week abortion ban bill," accessed June 20, 2013
  17. Washington Post "House Democrats Face Long Odds in 2014," December 7, 2012
  18. The Hill, "NRCC, promising to 'stay on offense,' targets seven Dems," January 16, 2013
  19. FairVote "NRCC Targets Foreshadow Power of Partisanship in 2014 Elections," January 18, 2013
  20. Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, "DCCC Chairman Steve Israel Announces 2013-2014 Frontline Members," March 5, 2013
  21. Roll Call "Mia Love Announces Utah Rematch" Accessed May 21, 2013
  22. Utah Lieutenant Governor - Candidate filings
  23. Deseret News "Rep. Jim Matheson jumps to 4th Congressional District for re-election," Accessed December 16, 2011
  24. Daily Kos, "Libertarians provided the margin for Democrats and at least nine elections," November 15, 2012
  25. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013
  26. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008," accessed March 28, 2013
  27. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2006," accessed March 28, 2013
  28. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2004," accessed March 28, 2013
  29. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 2002," accessed March 28, 2013
  30. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2000," accessed March 28, 2013
  31. Open Secrets "Career Fundraising for Jim Matheson," Accessed April 2, 2013
  32. Federal Election Commission "Matheson 2014 Summary reports," Accessed July 23, 2013
  33. FEC "April Quarterly," Accessed July 23, 2013
  34. FEC "July Quarterly," Accessed July 23, 2013
  35. Open Secrets "Matheson Campaign Contributions," Accessed February 24, 2013
  36. Daily Kos "Third quarter House fundraising: who's got the cash?" October 18, 2012
  37. Open Secrets "Jim Matheson 2010 Election Cycle," Accessed November 2, 2011
  38. OpenCongress, "Jim Matheson," Accessed August 6, 2013
  39. Gov Track "Jim Matheson," Accessed June 26, 2013
  40. GovTrack, "Matheson," Accessed April 11, 2013
  41. LegiStorm, "Jim Matheson," Accessed September 13, 2012
  42. OpenSecrets.org, "Matheson (D-Utah), 2011"
  43. OpenSecrets.org, "Jim Matheson (D-Utah), 2010," Accessed September 13, 2012
  44. National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," February 28, 2013
  45. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," February 23, 2012
  46. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
U.S. House of Representatives - Utah, District 4
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Merrill Cook
U.S. House of Representatives - Utah, District 2
Succeeded by
Chris Stewart (R)