Tom Graves

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For the American football player, see Tom Graves (American football). For other people with similar names, see Thomas Graves (disambiguation).


Tom Graves
Tom Graves Official Portrait.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 14th district
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded by New district
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 9th district
In office
June 8, 2010 – January 3, 2013
Preceded by Nathan Deal
Succeeded by Doug Collins
Member of the
Georgia House of Representatives
from the 12th district
In office
January 3, 2005 – March 23, 2010
Preceded by Jeff Lewis
Succeeded by Rick Jasperse
Member of the
Georgia House of Representatives
from the 10th district
In office
January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2005
Preceded by Tom E. Shanahan
Succeeded by Ben Bridges
Personal details
Born (1970-02-03) February 3, 1970 (age 44)
St. Petersburg, Florida
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Julie Howard Graves
Children JoAnn, John T. III, and Janey
Residence Ranger, Georgia
Alma mater University of Georgia
Religion Southern Baptist

John Thomas "Tom" Graves, Jr. (born February 3, 1970) is the U.S. Representative for Georgia's 14th congressional district, serving since winning a special election for Georgia's 9th congressional district in 2010. He is a member of the Republican Party. The district is located in the northwestern part of the state, and runs along the border with Tennessee and Alabama. GA-14 encompasses most of rural and suburban Northwest Georgia, from Dade County to Murray County along the Georgia-Tennessee line, and from Dade County to Haralson County along the Georgia-Alabama line. It extends southward and eastward to the fringes of the Atlanta metropolitan area, including Paulding County. Graves served in the Georgia House of Representatives before being elected to the House of Representatives. His original district, the 9th, was a heavily Republican district; according to the Cook Partisan Voting Index, it was the third-most Republican district in the nation and the most Republican district in the Eastern Time Zone. Graves' current district is ranked by Cook as the eighth-most Republican district in the nation and the second-most Republican district in Georgia.

Early life, education, and business career[edit]

Graves was born in St. Petersburg, Florida on February 3, 1970. He graduated from Cass High School of Cartersville, Georgia, and earned a B.B.A. from the University of Georgia. Graves was a business owner prior to being elected to public office.[1] He lives in Ranger, Georgia, southeast of Dalton.

Georgia House of Representatives[edit]

Elections[edit]

After redistricting, incumbent Democrat Tom E. Shanahan of Georgia's 10th House District decided to retire. Graves won the open seat with 60% of the vote.[2] After mid-decade redistricting, Graves decided to run for Georgia's 12th House District, vacated by Republican Jeff Lewis who decided to run in the 15th District. Graves won unopposed in 2004.[3] He won re-election unopposed in 2006[4] and 2008.[5]

Tenure[edit]

American Legislative Exchange Council honored Graves as the 2009 Entrepreneurial Legislator of the Year. In 2009, he was endorsed by the Atlanta Tea Party Patriots.[6]

Committee assignments[edit]

As State Representative Graves served on the Transportation, Ways and Means and Health and Human Services committee, and as Vice Chairman of the Motor Vehicles committee.

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Elections[edit]

2010

Graves finished first in the special election held on May 11, 2010 after Nathan Deal resigned from Congress to run for governor, and proceeded to a run-off which was held on June 8, 2010. He won the runoff against former State Senator Lee Hawkins.[7]

Graves faced Hawkins again in the July 20, 2010 Republican primary for the November general election. He came in first but fell short of the requisite 50% plus one majority in order to avoid a runoff and would once again face Hawkins in the primary runoff. This was the fourth time Graves faced Hawkins as an opponent in both the special and general primaries along with their respective runoffs. The 9th district is so heavily Republican that whoever won the runoff was all but assured of winning a full term. Graves won the primary runoff on August 10, 2010. He won the November 2, 2010 general election unopposed.

2012

After redistricting, Graves' home in Ranger was drawn into the newly created 14th district, which is basically the northwestern portion of the old 9th. Graves opted to run in the 14th[8] This district, like his old one, is heavily Republican, and Graves easily defeated a nominal Democratic challenger with 73 percent of the vote.

Tenure[edit]

Graves is pro-life and has voted to limit abortion. He also supports ending all federal funding for Planned Parenthood.[9] Graves is against a pathway to citizenship for immigrants in the United States illegally.[10] He is against withdrawing troops from Afghanistan.[11]

In 2009 Graves signed a pledge sponsored by Americans for Prosperity promising to vote against any Global Warming legislation that would raise taxes.[12]

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus memberships[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Graves and his wife Julie have three children and are active members of Belmont Baptist Church in Calhoun, Georgia.

In 2011, Graves and a business partner (state Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers) were accused of defaulting on a $2.2 million bank loan for a real estate investment. Attorneys for Graves argued that the bank had been at fault for loaning him money that they knew he couldn't repay, making the signed personal guarantees invalid. Graves and his partner were no longer involved with the company used to take out the loan after transferring ownership to another party in 2009.[13] The new owner (the hotel's former manager) agreed to purchase the company and its real estate and debt from Graves and Rogers for $10,000 but says they never actually required him to pay them anything.[14] The default on Graves' loan contributed significantly to the collapse of the Bartow County Bank (the small community bank which loaned the $2.2 million to Graves). The bank's collapse and liquidation cost the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation $69.5 million. According to Morgan Akin (the former bank chairman), he only approved the loan to Graves and Rodgers because, "They were well-respected members of the community, and we took that into account," and he never imagined such prominent political figures would default.[15] Furthermore, although Graves and Rogers claimed the new owner of the company only defaulted on the loan because the bank reneged on a promise to refinance, the bank countered that the loan was in default before the sale of their company and they invalidated their refinancing deal because they sold the company without informing the bank. In August 2011, the bank's dispute with Graves was settled out of court and no details of the settlement were disclosed.[16][17] Due to unpaid property taxes going back to 2009, the city may have to seize the property and spend over $100,000 to secure and eventually demolish it.[18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Biographical Directory: Graves, Tom". United States Congress. Retrieved August 11, 2011. 
  2. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=49518
  3. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=141356
  4. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=288565
  5. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=464215
  6. ^ http://www.gravesforcongress.org/toms-bio
  7. ^ "Georgia Election Results June 8, 2010". Georgia Secretary of State. June 15, 2010. Retrieved August 11, 2011. 
  8. ^ http://www.gravesforcongress.org/toms-bio
  9. ^ http://www.ontheissues.org/GA/Tom_Graves.htm
  10. ^ http://tomgraves.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=217587
  11. ^ http://www.thepoliticalguide.com/Profiles/House/Georgia/Tom_Graves/Views/The_War_in_Afghanistan/
  12. ^ http://americansforprosperity.org/noclimatetax//wp-content/uploads/2009/08/graves.pdf
  13. ^ Jeremy Redmon and Aaron Gould Sheinin (August 11, 2011). "Attorney for Graves, Rogers: Bank is at fault". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 
  14. ^ Andy Johns (August 21, 2011). "Failed motel could cost taxpayers $100,000". Chattanooga Times Free Press. Retrieved October 7, 2011. 
  15. ^ "Former bank chair: Tich loan complications contributed to bank collapse". Calhoun Times. August 31, 2011. Retrieved October 6, 2011. 
  16. ^ Jeremy Redmon; Aaron Gould Sheinin (August 11, 2011). "Attorneys for Graves, Rogers, bank refuse to disclose settlement details". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved October 6, 2011. 
  17. ^ Rachel Goff (August 12, 2011). "UPDATE: Lawsuit against Graves dismissed". The Calhoun Times. Retrieved October 7, 2011. 
  18. ^ Elizabeth Crumbly (August 26, 2011). "Calhoun may have to conduct tax sale of Oglethorpe property". Calhoun Times. Retrieved October 7, 2011. 

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Nathan Deal
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 9th congressional district

June 14, 2010 – January 3, 2013
Succeeded by
Doug Collins
Preceded by
New district
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 14th congressional district

January 3, 2013 – present
Incumbent
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Ted Deutch
D-Florida
United States Representatives by seniority
264th
Succeeded by
Tom Reed
R-New York