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Revision as of 13:33, 30 December 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
Cost per vote$19.89 in 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] On December 17, 2013, Matheson announced he will not be seeking re-election in 2014.[2]

According to a March 2012 article in Roll Call, Matheson was one of the top ten most vulnerable incumbents.[3]

Matheson serves as one of the Chief Deputy Whips of the Democratic caucus for the 113th Congress.[4]

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 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.[5]


Below is an abbreviated outline of Matheson's academic, professional and political career:[6]

Committee assignments

U.S. House


Matheson serves on the following committees:[7]


Matheson served on the following House committees:[6]


Legislative actions

113th Congress


The second session of the 113th Congress enacted into law 114 out of the 3,036 introduced bills (3.8 percent). Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 4.2 percent of introduced bills enacted into law in the second session.[9] For more information pertaining to Matheson's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[10]

National security

American response in Syria
See also: United States involvement 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.[11]

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.”[11][12]

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?”[12]

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."[12]

A total of 98 Republicans signed the letter. Matheson was one of 18 Democratic members to sign the letter.[12]


Voted "Yes" Matheson voted in support of HR 1960 - the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014. The bill passed the House on June 14, 2013, with a vote of 315 - 108. Both parties were somewhat divided on the vote.[13]

DHS Appropriations

Voted "Yes" Matheson voted in support of HR 2217 - the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2014. The bill passed the House on June 6, 2013, with a vote of 245 - 182 and was largely along party lines.[13]

Keystone Pipeline Amendment

Voted "No" Matheson voted in opposition of House Amendment 69, which would have amended HR 3 to "require that the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, in consultation with the Department of Homeland Security, conduct a study of the vulnerabilities of the Keystone XL pipeline to a terrorist attack and certify that necessary protections have been put in place." The amendment failed on May 22, 2013, with a vote of 176 - 239 and was largely along party lines.[13]

CISPA (2013)

Voted "Yes" Matheson voted in support of HR 624 - the CISPA (2013). The bill passed the House on April 18, 2013, with a vote of 288 - 127. The bill would allow federal intelligence agencies to share cybersecurity intelligence and information with private entities and utilities.[14] The bill was largely supported by Republicans, but divided the Democratic Party.[13]


Farm Bill
See also: United States Farm Bill 2013

Voted "No" Matheson voted against the Farm Bill on July 11, 2013. The bill passed in a 216-208 vote.[15] The bill passed included farm policy, but did not include food stamps.[16]

Government shutdown
See also: United States budget debate, 2013

Voted "Yes" On September 30, 2013, the House passed a final stopgap spending bill before the shutdown went into effect. The bill included a one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate and would have also stripped the bill of federal subsidies for congressional members and staff. It passed through the House with a vote of 228-201.[17] At 1 a.m. on October 1, 2013, one hour after the shutdown officially began, the House voted to move forward with going to a conference. In short order, Sen. Harry Reid rejected the call to conference.[18] Matheson voted to approve the stopgap spending bill that would have delayed the individual mandate.[19]

Voted "Yes" The shutdown finally ended on October 16, 2013, when the House took a vote on HR 2775 after it was approved by the Senate. The bill to reopen the government lifted the $16.7 trillion debt limit and funds the government through January 15, 2014. Federal employees also received retroactive pay for the shutdown period. The only concession made by Senate Democrats was to require income verification for Obamacare subsidies.[20] The House passed the legislation shortly after the Senate, by a vote of 285-144, with all 144 votes against the legislation coming from Republican members. Matheson voted for HR 2775.[21]


Morton Memos Prohibition

Voted "No" Matheson voted against House Amendment 136 - Prohibits the Enforcement of the Immigration Executive Order. The amendment was adopted by the House on June 6, 2013, with a vote of 224 - 201. The purpose of the amendment as stated on the official text is to "prohibit the use of funds to finalize, implement, administer, or enforce the Morton Memos." These memos would have granted administrative amnesty to certain illegal aliens residing in the United States.[22] The vote largely followed party lines.[23]


House vote on Obamacare

Matheson was one of two Democrats that voted to defund Obamacare in September 2013. The bill also included funding the government for the rest of 2013. Matheson said, "It is irresponsible to add unrelated provisions to legislation to keep our government running. I have always preferred straightforward legislating that avoids political games. However, I believe we should avoid shutting down the government, and I voted for a continuing resolution to keep the legislative process working toward that end today."[24]

Social issues

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.[25][26][27] 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.[28] Matheson was one of six Democratic members who voted in favor of the ban.


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. [29]

Previous congressional sessions

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.[30]

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."[31]



See also: Utah's 4th Congressional District elections, 2014

On December 17, 2013, Matheson announced he will not be seeking re-election in 2014.[2]

According to a Washington Post article in December 2012, Matheson would have been 1 of the 10 most vulnerable incumbents in 2014.[32]

Matheson made Roll Call's "Ten Most Vulnerable" list for the third quarter. Matheson is a Democrat in a right-leaning district. While he had managed to hang on to his seat the last few election cycles, he won the 2012 election by only a slim margin and was expected to face a tough campaign. [33]

The National Republican Congressional Committee listed Matheson's seat as one of seven early targets in the 2014 congressional elections.[34] 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).[35]

Matheson was 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.[36]

On May 19, 2013, Republican Mia Love announced she would run against Matheson in a re-match of the 2012 election for Utah's 4th Congressional District seat. However, Matheson later announced he would not seek re-election.[37]

Matheson is rumored to be considering a run for governor or for the U.S. Senate in 2016.[38]


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.[39][40]

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.[41]

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

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.[48]

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 were required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Matheson's reports.[49]


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.[55]

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.[56]


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.[57]


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.[58]

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.[59]

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.[60]

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.[61]

Net worth

See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by, 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.[62]


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by, 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.[63]

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.[64]


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.[65]

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.[66]


Matheson and his wife, Amy, have two children.[6]

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.

Jim Matheson News Feed

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External links


  1. Politico "2012 Election Map"
  2. 2.0 2.1 Roll Call, "Democrat Jim Matheson Announces Retirement (Updated)", accessed December 17, 2013
  3. Roll Call "Top 10 Vulnerable: Targets on Their Backs," March 16, 2012
  4. Office of the Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer "Hoyer Announces Whip Team for the 113th Congress," January 4, 2013
  5. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress "MATHESON, James David (Jim), (1960 - )"
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Official House website "Biography," Accessed November 2, 2011
  7., House Committee Rosters for the 113th Congress
  8. House Energy & Commerce Committee "Subcommittees"
  9. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
  10. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
  11. 11.0 11.1 Yahoo, "65 Lawmakers Ask Obama to Consult on Syria," accessed August 28, 2013
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Politico, "33 lawmakers: Congress must approve Syria action," accessed August 28, 2013
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 Project Vote Smart, "Representative Matheson's Voting Records on National Security," accessed October 14, 2013
  14. The Library of Congress, "H.R.624 CISPA (2013) (Referred in Senate - RFS)," accessed August 27, 2013
  15. Vote Smart, "Matheson on agriculture", accessed October 14, 2013
  16. New York Times, "House Republicans Push Through Farm Bill, Without Food Stamps", accessed September 17, 2013
  17. Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  18. Buzzfeed, "Government Shutdown: How We Got Here," accessed October 1, 2013
  19. Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  20. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  21. U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 550," accessed October 31, 2013
  22. The Library of Congress, "H.AMDT.136," accessed August 28, 2013
  23. Project Vote Smart, "Representative Matheson's Voting Records on Immigration," accessed October 14, 2013
  24. Daily Caller, "Meet the two Democrats who voted to defund Obamacare", accessed September 23, 2013
  25. THOMAS (Library of Congress), "H.R. 1797," accessed June 23, 2013
  26. CNN, "House passes late term abortion ban," accessed June 20, 2013
  27. U.S. House, "June 18 Roll Call Vote," accessed June 20, 2013
  28. Politico, "House OKs 20-week abortion ban bill," accessed June 20, 2013
  29. The Washington Post, "Election of the Speaker," Accessed June 14, 2013
  30. U.S. House "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff" Accessed January 4, 2013.
  31. Matheson for Congress, "Issues," Accessed September 19, 2012
  32. Washington Post "House Democrats Face Long Odds in 2014," December 7, 2012
  33. ‘’Roll Call’’, “Roll Call's 10 Most Vulnerable House Members Revealed”, accessed November 5, 2013
  34. The Hill, "NRCC, promising to 'stay on offense,' targets seven Dems," January 16, 2013
  35. FairVote "NRCC Targets Foreshadow Power of Partisanship in 2014 Elections," January 18, 2013
  36. Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, "DCCC Chairman Steve Israel Announces 2013-2014 Frontline Members," March 5, 2013
  37. Roll Call "Mia Love Announces Utah Rematch" Accessed May 21, 2013
  38. Salt Lake Tribune, "Is a run for governor or Senate in Matheson’s future?", accessed December 27, 2013
  39. Utah Lieutenant Governor - Candidate filings
  40. Deseret News "Rep. Jim Matheson jumps to 4th Congressional District for re-election," Accessed December 16, 2011
  41. Daily Kos, "Libertarians provided the margin for Democrats and at least nine elections," November 15, 2012
  42. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013
  43. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008," accessed March 28, 2013
  44. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2006," accessed March 28, 2013
  45. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2004," accessed March 28, 2013
  46. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 2002," accessed March 28, 2013
  47. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2000," accessed March 28, 2013
  48. Open Secrets "Career Fundraising for Jim Matheson," Accessed April 2, 2013
  49. Federal Election Commission, "Matheson 2014 Summary reports," accessed July 23, 2013
  50. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed July 23, 2013
  51. Federal Election Commission, "July Quarterly," accessed July 23, 2013
  52. Federal Election Commission, "October Quarterly," accessed October 29, 2013
  53. Federal Election Commission, "Year-End Report," accessed April 18, 2014
  54. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed April 18, 2014
  55. Open Secrets "Matheson Campaign Contributions," Accessed February 24, 2013
  56. Daily Kos "Third quarter House fundraising: who's got the cash?" October 18, 2012
  57. Open Secrets "Jim Matheson 2010 Election Cycle," Accessed November 2, 2011
  58. OpenCongress, "Jim Matheson," Accessed August 6, 2013
  59. Gov Track "Jim Matheson," Accessed June 26, 2013
  60. GovTrack, "Matheson," Accessed April 11, 2013
  61. LegiStorm, "Jim Matheson," Accessed September 13, 2012
  62., "Matheson (D-Utah), 2011"
  63., "Jim Matheson (D-Utah), 2010," Accessed September 13, 2012
  64. National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," February 28, 2013
  65. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," February 23, 2012
  66. 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)