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
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 45)
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

Tom Graves was born in St. Petersburg, Florida on February 3, 1970.[1] He graduated from Cass High School of Cartersville, GA, where he played linebacker and offensive guard on the school football team.[2] Graves earned his Bachelor’s of Business Administration from the University of Georgia. After college, he bought a landscaping company before working in real estate investment.[2] Graves lives in Ranger, Georgia, southeast of Dalton.[1]

Georgia House of Representatives


Tom E. Shanahan retired as Representative to Georgia's 10th District in 2002, and Graves won as his successor with 60 percent of the vote.[3] Graves later ran, unopposed, to serve as House Representative to Georgia's 12th district in 2004.[4] He was re-elected, after two races in which he ran against primary challenger Bill Pickett in 2006[5] and unopposed in 2008.[6]

Committee assignments

Graves served on the Transportation, Ways and Means committee and on the Health and Human services committee during his tenure in the Georgia House of Representatives.[7] He also served as Vice Chairman on the Motor Vehicles committee.[8]


As a member of the Georgia House, Graves supported legislation to provide tax cuts and tax credits,[9][10] including introducing the Jobs, Opportunity and Business Success (JOBS) Act of 2009.[11][12]

Graves was named Legislator of the Year in 2009 by the American Legislative Exchange Council.[13] Later that year, he was awarded the Guardian of Small Business award by the National Federation of Independent Business.[14]

U.S. House of Representatives



In May 2010, Graves won a special election to replace Republican US House Representative Nathan Deal.[15] On June 8, 2010, Graves won the run-off for the special election against former state Senator Lee Hawkins.[16] Graves then faced Hawkins two more times, in another primary election and run off before winning the November 2, 2010 general election unopposed. [17][18] Upon his election, Graves joined the House Republican Whip team,[19] which he later left in 2011.[20] In January 2013, Graves rejoined the Whip team, and is a member as of 2014.[19]


Representative Graves’ home in Ranger was drawn into the newly created 14th district during the 2012 census, and as a result, he elected to run as Representative for the newly created district.[21] Graves won the November 6, 2012 election against Democratic challenger Daniel “Danny” Grant with 73 percent of the vote.[22]


Representative Graves is a pro-life politician and voted in 2011 to limit funding to Planned Parenthood.[23] He has stated that he opposes abortion "without exception", including when the mother's life is at stake.[24]

Graves was endorsed by the Atlanta Tea Party in 2010.[25] He authored the Defund Obamacare Act in 2010 and reintroduced the bill in the 112th and 113th Congress.[26]

Graves co-sponsored a balanced-budget amendment in both the 112th and 113th Congresses and supported the Cut, Cap and Balance Act of 2011, which aimed to reduce federal spending and establish caps in future spending.[20] The same year, Graves introduced the HOME Act to allow Americans to make withdrawals from their retirement accounts to pay timely mortgage payments in 2011.[27] He also voted against removing US troops from Afghanistan in March 2011.[28] Graves introduced the Transportation Empowerment Act (TEA) in 2011, meant to lower the federal gas tax to 3.7 cents per gallon and transfer nearly all funding authority to U.S. states over a period of five years.[29] Graves voted in favor of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act in 2013, which funded the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project[30] in its expansion of the Savannah Harbor shipping channel from a depth of -42 feet to -47 feet.[31] He also authored the Email Privacy Act with Representatives Kevin Yoder and Jared Polis.[32] Graves led the national movement to defund the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare") in 2013.[26]

Committee assignments

Graves is a member of the United States House Committee on Appropriations. In 2014, he was selected to serve as chairman of the Subcommittee on the Legislative Branch for the 114th Congress.[33] His membership also includes the subcommittees on Defense and Financial Services and General Government.[34][35]

Caucus memberships

Graves is a member of the House Congressional Chicken Caucus, the House General Aviation Caucus, the Joint Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus, the House Congressional Balanced Budget Amendment Caucus, the House Republican Study Committee and the House Congressional Diabetes Caucus.[36]

Personal life

Graves and his wife Julie have three children and are active members of Belmont Baptist Church in Calhoun, Georgia.[37]

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.[38] 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.[39] 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 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.[40] While Graves and Rogers said 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.[41][42] 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.[43]


  1. ^ a b "Tom Graves: Winner". Wall Street Journal. 2012. Retrieved 5 November 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Karissa Stewart (27 April 2011). "Ranger’s most unlikely politician Tom Graves reflects on his first year in Congress". Northwest Georgia News. Retrieved 6 November 2014. 
  3. ^ "GA State House 010". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 6 November 2014. 
  4. ^ "GA State House 012". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 6 November 2014. 
  5. ^ "GA State House 012". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 6 November 2014. 
  6. ^ "GA State House 012". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 6 November 2014. 
  7. ^ "Rep. Graves gets appointment as 'Hawk' in House". Calhoun Times. 27 January 2007. Retrieved 6 November 2014. 
  8. ^ Ashe Schow (6 December 2011). "CONGRESSIONAL PROFILE: REP. TOM GRAVES (R-GA)". Congressional Profile. Heritage Action for America. Retrieved 6 November 2014. 
  9. ^ "Georgia's political leaders react to SOTU". Atlanta Business Chronicle. 25 January 2010. Retrieved 6 May 2015. 
  10. ^ Urvaksh Karkaria (8 February 2010). "Tax credits sought for startups, jobs". Atlanta Business Chronicle. Retrieved 6 May 2015. 
  11. ^ "Graves to announce JOBS Act today". The Calhoun Times. 27 January 2010. Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  12. ^ Ashley Speagle (24 January 2010). "Lawmakers to look at boosting jobs". The Times Free Press. Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  13. ^ Chris Kromm (1 May 2012). "The South's ALEC All-Stars". Facing South. Institute for Southern Studies. Retrieved 6 November 2014. 
  14. ^ Jacqueline Bodnar (12 November 2012). "Freedomworks Endorses Tom Graves for Republican Study Committee Chairman". States News Service. Retrieved 6 November 2014. 
  15. ^ David Espo (9 June 2010). "Politics; Narrow defeats, stunning victories". Charlestown Gazette. Retrieved 5 November 2014. 
  16. ^ "Georgia Election Results". State of Georgia. 8 June 2010. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  17. ^ Danielle Kurtzleben (10 August 2010). "Graves and Hawkins Face off in Georgia Primary". US News. Retrieved 8 December 2014. 
  18. ^ "Election Results". State of Georgia. 2 November 2010. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  19. ^ a b Kristina Peterson (19 June 2014). "Kevin McCarthy Enlists Conservative Graves for Nomination Speech". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  20. ^ a b Marin Cogan; John Bresnahan (17 October 2011). "Tom Graves: A rising house star or big headache?". Retrieved 6 November 2014. 
  21. ^ "US Rep. Graves advances in 14th District primary". Associated Press. 31 July 2012. Retrieved 6 November 2014. 
  22. ^ "Georgia Congressional District 14 election results". 7 November 2012. Retrieved 6 November 2014. 
  23. ^ "Inside Congress". 19 February 2011. Retrieved 11 November 2014. 
  24. ^
  25. ^ Ralph Reed (9 June 2010). "The Year of the (Conservative) Woman". Faith and Freedom Coalition. Retrieved 5 November 2014. 
  26. ^ a b Tim Alberta (5 November 2013). "The Man Behind the Campaign to Defund Obamacare". National Journal. Retrieved 11 December 2014. 
  27. ^ "SEN. ISAKSON, REP. GRAVES INTRODUCE THE HOME ACT TO HELP AMERICANS KEEP THEIR HOMES" (Press release). US Federal News Service. 7 October 2011. Retrieved 6 November 2014. 
  28. ^ "Tom Graves". On The Issues. Retrieved 6 November 2014. 
  29. ^ Katherine Rosario (20 February 2014). "TOM GRAVES: TEA ACT MEANS BETTER ROADS WITHOUT RAISING TAXES". Heritage Action for America. Retrieved 6 November 2014. 
  30. ^ "Water Resources and Reform Act". 23 August 2014. Retrieved 6 November 2014. 
  31. ^ "Savannah Harbor Expansion Project". US Army Corps of Engineers. Retrieved 11 November 2014. 
  32. ^ "Polis, Yoder Bipartisan Email Privacy Amendment Unanimously Adopted in Committee Amendment Ensures 4th Amendment Protections Cover Emails" (Press release). 18 July 2013. Retrieved 6 November 2014. 
  33. ^ Susan Percy (February 2015). "Political notes: February 2015". Georgia Trend. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  34. ^ Daniel Malloy (15 January 2015). "Tom Graves scores spot on defense spending panel". AJC. Retrieved 5 March 2015. 
  35. ^ "Defense Subcommittee". Retrieved 5 March 2015. 
  36. ^ "US Rep Tom Graves Profile". Voices for Vinyl Legislative Action Center. Retrieved 12 March 2015. 
  37. ^ Staff (5 January 2011). "Ten Southern Baptists sworn in as new reps.". Baptist Press. Archived from the original on 25 December 2014. Retrieved 25 December 2014. 
  38. ^ Jeremy Redmon and Aaron Gould Sheinin (August 11, 2011). "Attorney for Graves, Rogers: Bank is at fault". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 
  39. ^ Andy Johns (August 21, 2011). "Failed motel could cost taxpayers $100,000". Chattanooga Times Free Press. Retrieved October 7, 2011. 
  40. ^ "Former bank chair: Tich loan complications contributed to bank collapse". Calhoun Times. August 31, 2011. Retrieved October 6, 2011. 
  41. ^ 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. 
  42. ^ Rachel Goff (August 12, 2011). "UPDATE: Lawsuit against Graves dismissed". The Calhoun Times. Retrieved October 7, 2011. 
  43. ^ Elizabeth Crumbly (August 26, 2011). "Calhoun may have to conduct tax sale of Oglethorpe property". Calhoun Times. Retrieved October 7, 2011. 

External links

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
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Ted Deutch
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Tom Reed
R-New York