Jim Matheson

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For the journalist, see Jim Matheson (journalist).
Jim Matheson
Mathesonbio.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Utah's 4th district
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded by None (District created after 2010 census)
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Utah's 2nd district
In office
January 3, 2001 – January 3, 2013
Preceded by Merrill Cook
Succeeded by Chris Stewart
Personal details
Born James David Matheson
(1960-03-21) March 21, 1960 (age 54)
Salt Lake City, Utah
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Amy Matheson
Children 2
Residence Salt Lake City, Utah
Alma mater Harvard College (A.B.)
UCLA Anderson School of Management (M.B.A.)
Occupation Energy Consultant
Religion The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon)

James David "Jim" Matheson (born March 21, 1960) is the current U.S. Representative for Utah's 4th congressional district. He previously represented the 2nd district from 2001 until 2013. He is a member of the Democratic Party and currently holds the distinction of representing a more Republican-leaning district than any other Democratic member of Congress.[1]

On December 17, 2013, Matheson announced he will not seek reelection in the 2014 elections.[2]

Early life, education and career[edit]

Matheson with family

Matheson was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, and obtained an A.B. from Harvard College and his M.B.A. from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.[3] His father, Scott M. Matheson, served as governor of Utah from 1977 to 1985,[4] and his brother, Scott Matheson, Jr., was the 2004 Democratic nominee for Governor.[5] Matheson is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.[6]

Prior to entering politics, Matheson worked in the energy field, working for several different companies and studying environmental policy. He later started his own energy consulting firm.

His wife, Amy, is a pediatrician and they have two sons, William and Harris. [7][dead link]

He joined a group that was in favor of increased compensation for people who were affected by the radiation from Cold War atomic testing. The radioactive fallout from nuclear tests caused the cancer that killed Matheson's father.[8]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Matheson is co-chairman of the Blue Dog Coalition,[9] a conservative group of 25 Democrats in the House. He also is a member of the New Democrat Coalition. Throughout his tenure, he has been the only Democrat in Utah's Congressional Delegation.

Matheson is relatively conservative by national party standards.[10] In the National Journal ratings in 2010, Matheson was more conservative than 51% of his colleagues, but more liberal than 49%, making him one of the most conservative Democrats, yet a centrist overall. On November 3[clarification needed], Matheson voted against requiring public disclosure of bonuses and golden parachute arrangements (agreements between a company and an employee specifying that the employee will receive significant benefits if they are terminated). This was a bill that the Democrats heavily supported and the Republicans opposed; only five other Democrats voted against the bill.

Foreign policy and terrorism[edit]

In March, 2007, Matheson was one of 14 Democrats who voted against a bill that would require President George W. Bush to bring combat troops home from Iraq by September 1, 2008.[citation needed] Matheson has always voted conservative in regards to the wars in the Middle East; he voted in favor of using military force against Iraq in 2003, voted against removing troops from Libya in 2011, and against removing troops from Pakistan in 2010. He did, however, vote in favor of requiring a timetable for withdrawal from Afghanistan, after opposing the bill in two previous votes.

In 2011, Matheson voted to extend expiring provisions of the PATRIOT Act[11] and voted in favor of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2012.[12]

Abortion[edit]

Matheson leans pro-life but supports expanding federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. He was rated 55% from National Right to Life Committee indicating a mixed record on abortion and 30% from NARAL indicating a pro-life voting record.[citation needed] However, Matheson's NARAL Pro-Choice America rating dropped to 0% in 2010, while he garnered a 50% rating from the National Right to Life Committee.[13]

Debt and economy[edit]

Matheson voted against raising the federal debt limit, as well as against both Republican and Democratic budgets that did not reduce the deficit.[citation needed] Matheson, a former energy industry businessman, voted against authorizing the construction of new oil refineries.[citation needed]

Matheson has been a strong supporter of regulating Wall Street, voting in favor of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the strongest set of Wall Street reforms since the 1930s. In a comment on this legislation, Matheson stated, "Nearly two years ago the subprime mortgage meltdown triggered the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. We've been living under the same set of rules that were in place before the financial crisis sparked the job-killing recession. Now, that is about to change."[14]

In July 2011, Matheson was one of five Democrats to vote for the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act.[15]

In January 2013, Matheson was one of sixteen Democrats that voted against the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012,[16] which was the last minute solution to the U.S. fiscal cliff. Matheson released a statement saying that "to address the fiscal cliff, legislation must include a strong framework for real deficit reduction. Sadly, this bill falls short." [17]

Education[edit]

Matheson is also opposed to the No Child Left Behind Act, believing that education is a local issue and federal funds should come with minimal strings attached. Matheson also believes that the "Highly Qualified Teacher" requirements should be more flexible, and that states should have alternative options to the single standardized test used in No Child Left Behind.[18]

Healthcare[edit]

In November 2009, during intense debates over American health care reform, Matheson voted against the Affordable Health Care for America Act.[19] When President Obama named Matheson's brother Scott M. Matheson to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit at a time where he needed Matheson's vote for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, The Weekly Standard posted an article that said "Barack Obama will host ten House Democrats who voted against the health care bill in November at the White House; he's obviously trying to persuade them to switch their vote to yes. One of the ten is Jim Matheson of Utah."[20] They suggested that the White House was using this timely nomination to influence Matheson's vote. Matheson responded by saying that he is very happy for his brother and that "the federal 10th Circuit Court will gain a judge devoted to judicial integrity, fairness and knowledge of the law."[21] In March 2010, he was one of 34 Democrats to vote against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which passed the House 219-212.[22] However, when the 112th Congress reconsidered the legislation in January 2011, Matheson voted against repealing the healthcare overhaul.[23]

Gun control[edit]

On January 15, 2013 during the 113th Congress Mr. Matheson introduced a bill called H.R. 287 or The "Video Games Ratings Enforcement Act" that if passed no video game can be sold on a public market without an official rating from the ESRB. Mr. Matheson introduced this bill in light of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.[24]

Marriage[edit]

Congressman Matheson believes marriage should be legally recognized as a union between one man and one woman.[25]

Committee assignments[edit]

Congressman Matheson sits on these committees and subcommittees in the 111th Congress:

Caucus memberships[edit]

  • Congressional Arts Caucus

Political campaigns[edit]

2000[edit]

In 2000, Matheson was tapped to run for the 2nd district seat. The Democrats were optimistic in part because the 2nd district has historically been friendlier to Democrats than the rest of Utah and in part because two-term incumbent Merrill Cook had a reputation for erratic behavior.[26] The prospect of losing the seat frightened district Republicans enough that Cook was unseated in the primary by computer executive Derek Smith. However, Matheson defeated Smith comfortably, taking 56 percent of the vote even as George W. Bush won the district with 57% of the vote.

2002[edit]

During the 2000s round of redistricting, the Republican-controlled state legislature significantly altered Matheson's district. The old 2nd had been located entirely in Salt Lake County since the 1980s round of redistricting; Salt Lake County has historically been friendlier to Democrats (at least at the state and local level) than the rest of Utah. The legislature drew all or part of 14 mostly rural counties in eastern and southern Utah into the 2nd. They were only connected to Salt Lake City by a narrow band of territory in heavily Republican Utah County. In addition, the legislature shifted most of western Salt Lake City to the 1st, leaving the more conservative eastern part of the city in the 2nd. The new district was approximately six points more Republican than its predecessor. Matheson was thought to face difficult odds for reelection, even though his family has roots in southern Utah.

As expected, the 2002 race was very close. Matheson defeated State Representative John Swallow by only 1,600 votes, largely due to a 25,800-vote margin over John Swallow in Salt Lake County.[27] According to at least one study, some extra financial help from the Republican Party might have helped Swallow defeat Matheson. However, national Republicans stayed out of the race after state legislators claimed they had drawn a district that no Democrat could possibly win.[28]

2004[edit]

Matheson defeated Swallow again—this time by a 12-point margin even as Bush won the state by a large margin (and carried the district with 67 percent of the vote).

2006[edit]

Matheson defeated State Representative LaVar Christensen by 22 points.

2008[edit]

Matheson defeated Republican challenger Bill Dew in the 2008 general election by 28 percent.

2010[edit]

Matheson won against Republican nominee Morgan Philpot. In May, Matheson faced his first challenge from within his party. Claudia Wright claimed that Jim Matheson was not liberal enough and obtained 45% of the vote at the Democratic State Convention, forcing a primary for the Democratic nomination. After weeks of campaigning Matheson secured the Democratic nomination, by obtaining 67.5% of the vote.

2012[edit]

Matheson had said he was considering a run for statewide office in 2012, particularly if his seat was substantially changed in redistricting.[29] Polling conducted in July 2011 showed Matheson leading incumbent Republican Senator Orrin Hatch in a possible 2012 Senate race.[30]

On December 15, 2011, Matheson announced that he would run for the newly created seat in the 4th congressional district, meaning there would be an open-seat race for the 2nd district. The 2nd district race was not expected to be competitive for Democrats. In a three-way race between Matheson, Mia Love (Republican) and Jim Vein (Libertarian), Matheson beat Love by 768 votes. In the race, Vein garnered 6,439 votes.[31]

Electoral history[edit]

Note: Totals may not equal 100.0 percent due to rounding.

Utah's 2nd congressional district: Results 2000–2010[32]
Year Democrat Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct
2000 Jim Matheson 145,021 56% Derek W. Smith 107,114 41% Bruce Bangerter Independent American 4,704 2% Peter Pixton Libertarian 2,165 1% *
2002 Jim Matheson 110,764 49% John Swallow 109,123 49% Patrick Diehl Green 2,589 1% Ron Copier Libertarian 1,622 1%
2004 Jim Matheson 187,250 55% John Swallow 147,778 43% Jeremy P. Petersen Constitution 3,541 1% Patrick Diehl Green 2,189 1% *
2006 Jim Matheson 133,231 59% LaVar Christensen 84,234 37% W. David Perry Constitution 3,395 2% Bob Brister Green 3,338 1% *
2008 Jim Matheson 204,268 63% Bill Dew 111,696 35% Dennis Ray Emery Constitution 2,731 1% Mathew Arndt Libertarian 4,171 1% *
2010 Jim Matheson 116,404 50.67% Morgan Philpot 105,514 45.98% Randall Hinton Constitution 4,122 1.79% David Glissmeyer Independent 2,143 0.93% *
 
Utah's 4th congressional district: Results 2012–[32]
2012 Jim Matheson 119,803 48.8% Mia Love 119,035 48.5% Jim L. Vein Libertarian 6,439 2.6%
*Write-in and minor candidate notes: In 2000, Steven Alberts Voris received 597 votes. In 2004, Personal Choice Party candidate Ronald R. Amos received 1,210 votes. In 2006, Libertarian Party candidate Austin Sherwood Lett received 1,620 votes.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Introducing The Cook Political Report Partisan Voting Index (PVI) for the 111th Congress (login required)
  2. ^ Livingston, Abby (December 17, 2013). "Democrat Jim Matheson Announces Retirement". Roll Call. 
  3. ^ "Congressman Jim Matheson – Biography". Retrieved November 9, 2006. 
  4. ^ McCormick, John (1994), "Matheson, Scott M.", in Powell, Allan Kent, Utah History Encyclopedia, Salt Lake City, Utah: University of Utah Press, ISBN 0874804256, OCLC 30473917 
  5. ^ Bob Bernick Jr. (November 4, 2004). "Only a few Democrats were able to survive Utah's GOP 'sweep'". Deseret Morning News. Retrieved November 9, 2006. 
  6. ^ Jerry Spangler (January 31, 2005). "Mormon Democrats link up in Congress". Deseret Morning News. Retrieved November 9, 2006. 
  7. ^ "Town hall info". Town hall. 
  8. ^ "NJ bio". National Journal. 
  9. ^ Bob Bernick Jr. (October 29, 2006). "Frugal Matheson walks to own beat". Deseret Morning News. Retrieved November 9, 2006. 
  10. ^ Bob Bernick Jr. (August 31, 2006). "Matheson far enough to the right for Utahns". Deseret Morning News. Retrieved November 9, 2006. 
  11. ^ http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2011/roll036.xml
  12. ^ "HR 1540 National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 – Voting Record". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved April 5, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Representative James 'Jim' David Matheson: Abortion Issues". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved December 20, 2011. 
  14. ^ "Matheson supports Wall Street reforms". Congressman Jim Matheson official website. June 30, 2010. Retrieved December 20, 2011. 
  15. ^ Berman, Russell (July 19, 2011). "Five Blue Dogs join GOP in vote for 'cut, cap and balance' bill". The Hill. Retrieved July 21, 2011. 
  16. ^ "H.R. 8: American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (On the Senate Amendment)". 
  17. ^ Matheson statement on vote on ‘fiscal cliff' measure 
  18. ^ "Education". Congressman Jim Matheson official website. Retrieved December 20, 2011. 
  19. ^ "Final Vote Results for Roll Call 398". United States House of Representatives. October 24, 2001. Retrieved March 29, 2010. [not in citation given]
  20. ^ "Obama Now Selling Judgeships for Healthcare Votes?". The Weekly Standard. 
  21. ^ "Jim Matheson & the Obama Administration's Record of Using Nominations for Political Gain Jim Matheson & the Obama Administration's Record of Using Nominations for Political Gain". The Weekly Standard. 
  22. ^ "Health care reform: How House members voted". CNN. March 2010. Retrieved March 29, 2010. 
  23. ^ The Washington Post http://projects.washingtonpost.com/congress/112/house/1/votes/14/?hpid=artslot |url= missing title (help). 
  24. ^ http://thehill.com/images/stories/blogs/flooraction/jan2013/hr287.pdf
  25. ^ http://www.ontheissues.org/house/jim_matheson.htm
  26. ^ "Smith upsets incumbent Cook". USA Today. June 28, 2000. 
  27. ^ "Election 2002 – County Results: Utah House 02". CNN. Retrieved July 12, 2010. 
  28. ^ http://csed.byu.edu/Assets/Pew/2002%20Monograph.pdf
  29. ^ Lisa Riley Roche (June 9, 2011). "Two Utah Political Heavyweights Eyeing Key Races". Deseret News. Retrieved June 27, 2011. 
  30. ^ Lisa Riley Roche (June 18, 2011). "Poll: Time for Senator Hatch To Go". Deseret News. Retrieved June 27, 2011. 
  31. ^ "Jim Matheson ekes out incredibly close race over Mia Love in 4th District race". 
  32. ^ a b "Election Statistics". Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives. 

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
New creation Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Utah's 4th congressional district

2013-present
Incumbent
Preceded by
Merrill Cook
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Utah's 2nd congressional district

2001 – 2013
Succeeded by
Chris Stewart
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Rick Larsen
D-Washington
United States Representatives by seniority
132nd
Succeeded by
Betty McCollum
D-Minnesota