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Stephen Lee Fincher
Birthdate: Feb. 7, 1973
Birth Place: Memphis, TN, United States
Residence: Halls, TN
First Elected: 2010
District: District 8
Stephen Fincher was born in Memphis, Tenn., and currently lives in Halls.
He is a managing partner in Fincher Farms, which grows cotton, corn, soybeans and wheat in the Frog Jump community of Crockett County in western Tennessee.
Fincher has been a member in "The Fincher Family" gospel signing group since he was 9 years old. The group has performed at more than 2,000 events over the last decade.
He was elected to the U.S. House in 2010.
Fincher and his wife, Lynne, have three children.
Stephen Fincher was the early favorite to challenge U.S. Rep. John Tanner for Tennessee's 8th Congressional District in 2010, but after the incumbent announced his retirement in December 2009, two more Republican candidates with substantial resources jumped into what quickly became a spirited race. Despite the nasty campaign, Fincher comfortably won the three-way nomination fight with 48.5 percent of the vote, on his way to defeating Democrat Roy Herron in the 2010 general election.
In August 2012, Fincher overcame a primary challenge from Annette Justice, receiving 60 percent of the vote. He faces Democrat Timothy Dixon in the November 2012 general election.
In the House, Fincher has voted mostly along Republican Party lines. He voted for House Speaker John Boehner's debt reduction bill and the repeal of the 2010 health care reform bill.
He joined the Financial Services Committee and serves on the Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee as well as the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee.
Fincher has supported jobs creation and responsible government spending. He introduced one of six bills that encompassed the JOBS Act. The bill aims to reduce regulations on small companies that want to go public. It was signed into law by President Barack Obama in April 2012.
During the 2010 primary campaign, his opponents, Ron Kirkland and George Flinn, attacked Fincher for being too close with the congressional incumbents who supported him, for voting in several local Democratic primaries and for taking federal farm subsidies while at the same time railing against out-of-control federal spending.
Fincher drew contributions from House GOP leader John Boehner of Ohio, Whip Eric Cantor of Virginia and House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence of Indiana, among others.
Fincher told reporters during the race that he affirmed his independence on his first trip to Washington to meet with congressional Republicans.
"I said: 'Boys, no offense, but I'm a farmer from Frog Jump, and I'm going to stand up for my country,'" Fincher said. "And a lot of things Republicans have done, I don't like. But we need conservative leadership."
Fincher deflected criticism over the farm subsidies by arguing that he had nothing to do with the way the current system was set up, and that he supports unspecified reform of the complicated program.
Flinn spent nearly $3 million of his own money on the race. Meanwhile Kirkland's brother spent $1.3 million in the form of independent expenditures, including an ad that claimed that for Fincher, "becoming a politician is more important than telling the gospel truth."
Fincher faced questions about his finances during the 2010 campaign after he was accused of misreporting the source of a $250,000 loan as coming from his personal funds, rather than from Gates Banking and Trust Co. He filed new information showing the loan was obtained from the bank after he won in November 2010.
The Federal Election Commission deadlocked in July 2011 on whether Fincher should be penalized, but did agree that he improperly reported the loan. Republican members of the committee said campaign loan reporting is an issue that trips up many candidates.
Source: Associated Press
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