Fincher talks family, spending, politics

October 1, 2010

MARTIN — He is running for Congress because of
his three children and their future, U.S House 8th
District Republican candidate Stephen Fincher told
an enthusiastic crowd Thursday on the University of
Tennessee Martin campus.

“I see the false, negative ads and wonder what I’m
doing, but then I look at my kids and think, ‘They
are the reason,'” Fincher said.

Fincher, whose appearance was sponsored by the
Martin Rotary Club as well as several campus
groups, spoke to more than 100 people after a
luncheon on campus. Democrat Roy Herron and
Independent Donn Janes have previously made
appearances in the same venue.

Fincher sprinkled his speech with personal stories
about his farm, his wife and his children. When he
first talked about running for office, his wife told
him she would divorce him, Fincher said, but later
decided it was the right thing to do.

The country needs less government, less
regulations and more spending cuts, he said.

“We don’t have a revenue problem; we have a
spending problem,” he said. “We desperately need a
balanced budget amendment.”

Several times during the speech, the crowd gave
Fincher a standing ovation. The older people in the a
udience seemed more enthusiastic and supportive,
while the students responded less.

After the speech, history professor David Barber
asked Fincher if he would support federal funding
for higher education.

Tennessee universities have received millions of
dollars in federal stimulus money, Barber said,
without which many jobs would have been lost.

Fincher repeated a previous statement that the
stimulus money should not have been approved,
but said he would support higher education.

“We must keep higher education a top priority,” he
said. “I am all for legitimate projects in the 8th
District; so much of the money is not going where it
needs to go.”

Fincher also promised questioners that he would
support funding for defense spending, Social
Security and Medicare, among other programs.

When asked in an interview after the speech how he
planned to cut the deficit while extending the Bush
tax cuts and keeping those programs in place,
Fincher said there were other things that could be
cut in federal spending.

“I’ll start with earmark reform,” Fincher said. “But the
key is to get the economy moving. We have to get
people back to work.”

Robert Wilton asked Fincher if he planned to cross
party lines to vote for what Wilton called “intelligent

Herron has previously attacked Fincher for saying
he will not work with members of the opposite party.

Fincher told Wilton he would not work with the
liberals in Congress but did pledge to vote with
conservatives in both parties.

Talking later, Wilton called himself an “incredibly
frustrated” voter who is tired of a Congress that
“I am exhausted with party politics,” Wilton said. A
registered Democrat, Wilton said he votes for
people, not parties, but is leaning toward a Herron
vote. His wife is a doctor, and Wilton is a business
and finance student at Martin, he said.

“I don’t know where to begin, who to talk to,” Wilton
said. “I want to see a person talk about issues and o
nly about the issues. When I hire someone, I ask
them, ‘What can you do for me?’ This country is my
business, and I want to know what you can do for
me, not be telling me about the other guy.”

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