Stephen Lee Fincher

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Stephen Lee Fincher
Stephen Fincher.jpg
U.S. House, Tennessee, District 8
In office
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 4
PredecessorJohn Tanner (D)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
Cost per vote$4.78 in 2012
First electedNovember 2, 2010
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Campaign $$4,976,271
Term limitsN/A
High schoolCrockett County High School
Date of birthFebruary 7, 1973
Place of birthMemphis, TN
Net worth-$472,502
Office website
Campaign website

Stephen Lee Fincher (b. February 7, 1973, in Memphis, TN) is a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from the state of Tennessee, representing the 8th District. Fincher was first elected in 2010. He ran for re-election in 2014. Fincher defeated Dana Matheny and John Mills in the Republican primary.[1]

Fincher was part of the wave of Republicans elected in the 2010 midterm elections.[2]

Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Fincher is an average Republican member of Congress, meaning he will vote with the Republican Party on the majority of bills.


Fincher graduated from Crockett County High School.[3] He helps run a large scale cotton farm.[4]


Below is an abbreviated outline of Fincher's academic and political career:[2]

  • 1990: Graduated from Crockett County High School, Alamo, Tenn.
  • 2011-Present: U.S. Representative from Tennessee

Committee assignments

U.S. House


Fincher serves on the following committees:[5]

  • Committee on Agriculture
    • Subcommittee on Department Operations, Oversight, and Nutrition
    • Subcommittee on Horticulture, Research, Biotechnology, and Foreign Agriculture
  • United States House Committee on Financial Services
    • Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises
    • Subcommittee on Monetary Policy and Trade
    • Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations


Fincher served on the following committees:

  • Agriculture
    • Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry
    • Subcommittee on Department Operations, Oversight, and Credit
    • Subcommittee on Conservation, Energy, and Forestry
  • Transportation and Infrastructure
    • Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials
    • Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management
    • Subcommittee on Aviation

Key votes

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.[6] For more information pertaining to Fincher's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[7]

National security


Yea3.png Fincher 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.[8]

DHS Appropriations

Yea3.png Fincher voted in support of HR 2217 - the DHS Appropriations Act (2014) Act of 2014. The bill passed the House on June 6, 2013, with a vote of 245 - 182 and was largely along party lines.[8]

Keystone Pipeline Amendment

Nay3.png Fincher 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.[8]

CISPA (2013)

Yea3.png Fincher 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.[9] The bill was largely supported by Republicans, but divided the Democratic Party.[8]


2014 Farm bill

Yea3.png On January 29, 2014, the U.S. House approved the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, H.R. 2642, also known as the Farm Bill.[10] The bill passed by a vote of 251-166. The nearly 1,000-page bill reformed and continued various programs of the Department of Agriculture through 2018. The $1 trillion bill expanded crop insurance for farmers by $7 billion over the next decade and created new subsidies for rice and peanut growers that would kick in when prices drop.[11][12] However, cuts to the food stamp program cut an average of $90 per month for 1.7 million people in 15 states.[12] Fincher voted with 161 other Republican representatives in favor of the bill.

2014 Budget

Yea3.png On January 15, 2014, the Republican-run House approved H.R. 3547, a $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund the government through September 30, 2014.[13][14] The House voted 359-67 for the 1,582 page bill, with 64 Republicans and three Democrats voting against the bill.[14] The omnibus package included 12 annual spending bills to fund federal operations.[15] It included a 1 percent increase in the paychecks of federal workers and military personnel, a $1 billion increase in Head Start funding for early childhood education, reduced funding to the Internal Revenue Service and the Environmental Protection Agency and protected the Affordable Care Act from any drastic cuts. Fincher voted with the majority of the Republican party in favor of the bill.[13]

2013 Farm bill
See also: United States Farm Bill 2013

Yea3.png Fincher supported the July 11, 2013 Farm Bill. The bill passed in a 216-208 vote.[16] The bill passed included farm policy, but did not include food stamps.[17]

Government shutdown
See also: United States budget debate, 2013

Yea3.png 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.[18] 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.[19] Fincher voted to approve the stopgap spending bill that would have delayed the individual mandate.[20]

Nay3.png The shutdown 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 funded 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.[21] 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. Fincher voted against HR 2775.[22]


Morton Memos Prohibition

Yea3.png Fincher supported 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.[23] The vote largely followed party lines.[24]


Repealing Obamacare

Yea3.png Fincher supported all attempts to repeal or delay the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.[25]

Social issues


Yea3.png Fincher supported HR 1797 - Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. The resolution passed the House on June 18, 2013, with a vote of 228 - 196. The purpose of the bill is to ban abortions that would take place 20 or more weeks after fertilization.[26]

Government affairs

HR 676
See also: Boehner's lawsuit against the Obama administration

Yea3.png On July 30, 2014, the U.S. House approved a resolution 225 to 201 to sue President Barack Obama for exceeding his constitutional authority. Five Republicans--Thomas Massie of Kentucky, Paul Broun of Georgia, Scott Garrett of New Jersey, Walter Jones of North Carolina and Steve Stockman of Texas-- voted with Democrats against the lawsuit.[27] Fincher joined the other 224 Republicans in favor of the lawsuit. All Democrats voted against the resolution.[28][29]

Previous congressional sessions

Fiscal Cliff

Nay3.png Fincher voted against 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 151 Republicans that voted against the bill. The bill was passed in the House by a 257 - 167 vote on January 1, 2013.[30]


On The Issues Vote Match

Fincher's Vote Match results from On The Issues.
See also: On The Issues Vote Match

On The Issues conducts a VoteMatch analysis of elected officials based on 20 issue areas. Rather than relying on incumbents to complete the quiz themselves, the VoteMatch analysis is conducted using voting records, statements to the media, debate transcripts or citations from books authored by or about the candidate. Based on the results of the quiz, Fincher is a Libertarian-Leaning Conservative. Fincher received a score of 25 percent on social issues and 84 percent on economic issues.[31]

On The Issues organization logo.

The table below contains the results of analysis compiled by staff at On The Issues.

On The Issues Vote Quiz[32]
Economic Issues Social Issues
Issue Stance Issue Stance
Legally require hiring women & minorities Opposes Abortion is a woman's unrestricted right Strongly Opposes
Expand ObamaCare Strongly Opposes Comfortable with same-sex marriage Strongly Opposes
Vouchers for school choice Strongly Favors Keep God in the public sphere Strongly Favors
Absolute right to gun ownership Strongly Favors Human needs over animal rights Favors
Higher taxes on the wealthy Strongly Opposes Stricter punishment reduces crime Unknown
Support & expand free trade Favors Pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens Strongly Opposes
Stricter limits on political campaign funds Unknown Maintain US sovereignty from UN Strongly Favors
Prioritize green energy Strongly Opposes Expand the military Strongly Favors
Stimulus better than market-led recovery Opposes Stay out of Iran Opposes
Privatize Social Security Strongly Opposes Never legalize marijuana Unknown
Note: Information last updated: 2014.[31]

Campaign themes


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

  • Jobs: "We should work toward a flatter, fairer tax system that does not penalize work, wealth creation and savings."
  • Healthcare: "Social Security and Medicare are a commitment we made to older Americans - a commitment I intend to keep."
  • Energy: "Energy taxes and more regulation are not the answer to providing for our energy needs."[33]



See also: Tennessee's 8th Congressional District elections, 2014

Fincher ran in the 2014 election for the U.S. House to represent Tennessee's 8th District. Fincher defeated Dana Matheny and John Mills in the Republican primary.[1] The general election took place November 4, 2014.

U.S. House, Tennessee District 8 Republican Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngStephen Fincher Incumbent 79% 68,465
Dana Matheny 13.6% 11,819
John Mills 7.3% 6,337
Total Votes 86,621
Source: Results via Associated Press


See also: Tennessee's 8th Congressional District elections, 2012

Fincher ran for re-election in the 2012 election for the U.S. House, representing Tennessee's 8th District. Fincher defeated Annette Justice in the August 2 Republican primary. He defeated Timothy Dixon (D), James Hart (I) and Mark Rawles (I) in the general election on November 6, 2012.[34]

U.S. House, Tennessee District 8 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Timothy Dixon 28.4% 79,490
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngStephen Lee Fincher Incumbent 68.3% 190,923
     Independent James Hart 2.2% 6,139
     Independent Mark Rawles 1% 2,870
Total Votes 279,422
Source: Tennessee Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"
U.S. House, Tennessee's 8th Congressional District Republican Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngStephen Lee Fincher Incumbent 86.7% 60,355
Annette Justice 13.3% 9,288
Total Votes 69,643

Full history

Campaign donors


Candidates for Congress were required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Fincher's reports.[36]

Stephen Fincher (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[37]April 15, 2013$1,449,564.27$332,332.15$(59,630.04)$1,722,266.38
July Quarterly[38]July 15, 2013$1,722,266.38$308,520.48$(58,781.37)$1,972,005.49
October Quarterly[39]October 15, 2013$1,972,005.49$187,755.87$(50,282.8)$2,109,478.56
Year-End[40]January 31, 2014$2,109,478$190,011$(64,996)$2,334,493
April Quarterly[41]April 15, 2014$2,234,493.54$243,726.81$(139,331.33)$2,338,889.02
Running totals

Comprehensive donor information for Fincher is available dating back to 2010. Based on available campaign finance records, Fincher raised a total of $4,976,271 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 2, 2013.[42]

Stephen Lee Fincher's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 US House (Tennessee, District 8) Won $2,251,745
2010 US House (Tennessee, District 8) Won $2,724,526
Grand Total Raised $4,976,271


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

Fincher won election to the U.S. House in 2012. During that election cycle, Fincher's campaign committee raised a total of $2,251,745 and spent $911,702.[43]

Cost per vote

Fincher spent $4.78 per vote received in 2012.


Fincher won election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010. During that election cycle, Fincher's campaign committee raised a total of $2,724,526 and spent $2,615,002.[44]

Personal Gain Index

Congressional Personal Gain Index graphic.png
See also: Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress)

The Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress) is a four-part measurement that illustrates the extent to which members of the U.S. Congress have prospered during their tenure as public servants.
It consists of four different metrics:

PGI: Change in net worth

See also: Changes in Net Worth of U.S. Senators and Representatives (Personal Gain Index) and Net worth of United States Senators and Representatives
Net Worth Metric graphic.png

Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by, Fincher's net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $-1,149,999 to $204,995. That averages to $-472,502, which is lower than the average net worth of Republican House members in 2012 of $7,614,097.96. Fincher ranked as the 437th most wealthy representative in 2012.[45] Between 2010 and 2012, Fincher's calculated net worth increased from $-3,477,248.38 to $-472,502. Between 2004 and 2012, the average annual percentage increase for a member of Congress was 15.4 percent.[46]

Stephen Fincher Yearly Net Worth
YearAverage Net Worth
Growth from 2010 to 2012:N/A
Average annual growth:N/A
Comparatively, the American citizen experienced a median yearly decline in net worth of -0.94%.[47]
The data used to calculate changes in net worth may include changes resulting from assets gained through marriage, inheritance, changes in family estates and/or trusts, changes in family business ownership and many other variables unrelated to a member's behavior in Congress.


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.[48]

Fincher most often votes with:

Fincher 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, Fincher is a "rank-and-file Republican," as of July 30, 2014.[49] This was the same rating Fincher received in June 2013.[50]

Lifetime voting record

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

According to the website GovTrack, Fincher missed 76 of 2,710 roll call votes from January 2011 to July 2014. This amounts to 2.8 percent, which is worse than the median of 2.5 percent among current congressional representatives as of July 2014.[51]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Fincher paid his congressional staff a total of $762,325 in 2011. Overall, Tennessee ranked 39th in average salary for representative staff. The average U.S. House of Representatives congressional staff was paid $954,912.20 in fiscal year 2011.[52]

National Journal vote ratings

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. Click the link above for the full ratings of all members of Congress.


Fincher was one of two members of Congress who ranked 38th in the conservative rankings in 2013.[53]


Fincher ranked 63rd in the conservative rankings in 2012.[54]


Fincher was one of 10 members of congress who ranked 1st in the conservative rankings in 2011.[55]

Voting with party

The website OpenCongress tracks how often members of Congress vote with the majority of the chamber caucus.


Fincher voted with the Republican Party 95.4 percent of the time, which ranked 61st among the 234 House Republican members as of July 2014.[56]


Fincher voted with the Republican Party 97.8 percent of the time, which ranked 42nd among the 234 House Republican members as of June 2013.[57]


Fincher and his wife, Lynn, have three children.

Recent news

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

Stephen Lee Fincher News Feed

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See also

External links



  1. 1.0 1.1 Associated Press, "Tennessee - Summary Vote Results," accessed August 7, 2014
  2. 2.0 2.1 Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress, "Fincher," accessed June 26, 2013
  3. Votesmart, "Fincher," accessed December 19, 2013
  4. Commercial Appeal, "Stephen Fincher received state farm grant in addition to federal farm subsidies," accessed December 19, 2013
  5., "House Committee Rosters for the 113th Congress," accessed March 3, 2013
  6. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
  7. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Project Vote Smart, "Representative Fincher's Voting Records on National Security," accessed October 16, 2013
  9. The Library of Congress, "H.R.624 CISPA (2013) (Referred in Senate - RFS)," accessed August 27, 2013
  10. Clerk of U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote 31: H.R. 2642," accessed February 12, 2014
  11. Politico, "House clears farm bill," accessed February 12, 2014
  12. 12.0 12.1 New York Times, "Senate passes long-stalled farm bill, with clear winners and losers," accessed February 12, 2014
  13. 13.0 13.1, "House passes compromise $1.1 trillion budget for 2014," accessed January 20, 2014
  14. 14.0 14.1 U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote 21," accessed January 20, 2014
  15. Roll Call, "House passes $1.1 trillion omnibus," accessed January 20, 2014
  16. Vote Smart, "Fincher on agriculture," accessed October 16, 2013
  17. New York Times, "House Republicans Push Through Farm Bill, Without Food Stamps," accessed September 17, 2013
  18. Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  19. Buzzfeed, "Government Shutdown: How We Got Here," accessed October 1, 2013
  20. Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  21. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  22. U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 550," accessed October 31, 2013
  23. The Library of Congress, "H.AMDT.136," accessed August 28, 2013
  24. Project Vote Smart, "Representative Fincher's Voting Records on Immigration," accessed October 16, 2013
  25. Project Vote Smart, "Representative Fincher's Voting Records on Issue: Health and Healthcare," accessed October 16, 2013
  26. Project Vote Smart, "Fincher on abortion," accessed October 16, 2013
  27. U.S. House, "House Resolution 676," accessed July 30, 2014
  28. Yahoo News, "Suing Obama: GOP-led House gives the go-ahead," accessed July 30, 2014
  29. Washington Post, "House clears way for lawsuit against Obama," accessed July 30, 2014
  30. U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff," accessed January 4, 2013
  31. 31.0 31.1 On The Issues, "Fincher Vote Match," accessed July 7, 2014
  32. The questions in the quiz are broken down into two sections -- social and economic. In social questions, liberals and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while conservatives and populists agree in choosing the more-restrictive answers. For the economic questions, conservatives and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while liberals and populists agree in choosing the more-restrictive answers.
  33. Stephen Fincher for Congress, "Issues," accessed September 11, 2012
  34. Associated Press, "Tennessee 2012 primary results"
  35. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013
  36. Federal Election Commission, "Fincher 2014 Summary reports," accessed July 24, 2013
  37. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed July 24, 2013
  38. Federal Election Commission, "July Quarterly," accessed July 24, 2013
  39. Federal Election Commission, "October Quarterly," accessed October 29, 2013
  40. Federal Election Commission, "Fincher Year-End," accessed February 5, 2014
  41. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed April 17, 2014
  42. Open Secrets, "Career Fundraising for Stephen Lee Fincher," accessed April 2, 2013
  43. Open Secrets, "Scott Garrett 2012 Election Cycle," accessed August 16, 2013
  44. Open Secrets, "Stephen Lee Fincher 2010 Election Cycle," accessed November 16, 2011
  45. OpenSecrets, "Fincher, 2012," accessed January 14, 2014
  46. This number was found by dividing each member's total net worth growth percentage by the number of years included in the calculation.
  47. This figure was calculated using median asset data from the Census Bureau. Please see the Congressional Net Worth data for Ballotpedia spreadsheet for more information on this calculation.
  48. OpenCongress, "Stephen Lee Fincher," accessed July 30, 2014
  49. GovTrack, "Stephen Fincher," accessed July 30, 2014
  50. GovTrack, "Stephen Fincher," accessed June 26, 2013
  51. GovTrack, "Fincher," accessed July 30, 2014
  52. LegiStorm, "Steve Fincher," accessed September 18, 2012
  53. National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," July 30, 2014
  54. National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," February 28, 2013
  55. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," accessed February 23, 2012
  56. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  57. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
John Tanner
U.S. House of Representatives - Tennessee District 8
Succeeded by