Republican Tennessee Congressman Stephen Fincher, of the 8th District, announced Monday he would not be seeking re-election this year.
“I have decided not to seek re-election to the 8th Congressional District seat this year,” Fincher said in a release. “I am humbled by the opportunity to serve the people of West Tennessee, but I never intended to become a career politician.
Fincher is a member of the 2010 GOP class that stormed Washington, taking back control of Congress just two years after President Barack Obama was elected. Fincher was best known for leading the charge to renew the charter of the Export-Import Bank despite opposition from top GOP leaders and its tea party wing.
Fincher said having the opportunity to serve West Tennessee has been an honor.
“The last six years have been the opportunity of a lifetime, and I am honored to have been given the chance to serve,” he said.
U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander said “Stephen Fincher has served Tennesseans honestly and well. He is exactly the kind of person that we should hope would serve in public life.”
Fincher, 43, is a gospel singer from Frog Jump and grew up on his family's farm. He is regarded as a stout conservative.
After finishing his term, Fincher said he will be returning to Frog Jump and hopes to stay involved in politics to some extent.
Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Ryan Haynes said he is extremely appreciative for all that Congressman Fincher has done and wishes him the best in the future.
“Congressman Fincher has done an outstanding job representing the conservative principles of West Tennessee,” Haynes said. “He was part of our historic Republican takeover of the congressional delegation in 2010 and he has served with distinction since taking office.
“I am deeply appreciative of his dedication and his support of the Tennessee Republican Party. I wish him well as he takes the next step in his professional career.”
U.S. Senator Bob Corker had some appreciative words as well for Fincher on his decision to not run for re-election.
“I am deeply appreciative of Stephen’s commendable service to Tennessee and our country, and I know he will continue to serve the people of his district well during his remaining time in office,” Corker said.
Fincher's western Tennessee district is heavily Republican and is considered a safe seat for his party in November's elections. Obama lost the district's vote in both his 2008 and 2012 races by 2-1 margins.
“I will be returning to Frog Jump and my family and business, but intend to stay involved to the extent I can,” he said. “I want to thank every citizen of the 8th District for the privilege of serving.”
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