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Chuck Fleischmann

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Chuck Fleischmann
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Tennessee's 3rd district
Assumed office
January 3, 2011
Preceded byZach Wamp
Personal details
Charles Joseph Fleischmann

(1962-10-11) October 11, 1962 (age 61)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Brenda Fleischmann
(m. 1986)
EducationUniversity of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign (BA)
University of Tennessee (JD)
WebsiteHouse website

Charles Joseph Fleischmann[1][2] (/ˈflʃmən/; born October 11, 1962)[3] is an American attorney and politician who has been the U.S. representative for Tennessee's 3rd congressional district since 2011. The district is based in Chattanooga and includes a large part of East Tennessee, including Oak Ridge. He is a member of the Republican Party.

Early life, education, and law career[edit]

Fleischmann was born in Manhattan, New York City, and is a resident of Ooltewah, an unincorporated suburban community east of Chattanooga.[4][5] He is the son of Rose Marie (née Salvo) and Max Fleischmann, Jr.[6] Fleischmann is of Italian, English, and Austro-Hungarian descent, and is a distant relative of Harry Houdini.[7]

Fleischmann graduated from Elk Grove High School in Elk Grove Village, Illinois.[7] He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign.[3] He received both Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude honors. He then earned a Juris Doctor from the University of Tennessee College of Law in Knoxville.[8] He was the first member of his family to attend college.[7]

Early career[edit]

After graduating from law school, Fleischmann moved to Chattanooga, Tennessee, and founded an independent law firm, Fleischmann and Fleischmann, in 1987. He is a former president of the Chattanooga Bar Association[7] and former chair of the Chattanooga Lawyers Pro Bono Committee.[9]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]



Republican incumbent Zach Wamp retired in order to run for governor, leaving this an open seat. Fleischmann entered an 11-way Republican primary—the real contest in this heavily Republican district. None of the candidates had ever run for elected office before. Fleischmann's biggest competition came from former state GOP chair Robin Smith, who was considered the front-runner.[10] She was endorsed by former Speaker of the U.S. House Newt Gingrich and The Club for Growth. Fleischmann won the primary with a plurality of 30% of the vote, defeating Smith by 1,415 votes. He won most of the counties in the district, which were mostly in the northern part of the district, while Smith won three counties: Rhea, Hamilton (home to Chattanooga), and Polk counties. Third-place finisher Tim Gobble won only Bradley County, his home county.[11][12]

Fleischmann's Democratic opponent in the general election was John Wolfe, a fellow attorney. Fleischmann had faced Wolfe in his first case as an attorney. He said he won that case and the appeal "and now I want to defeat him a third time."[13] His other opponent was independent candidate Savas Kyriakidis, an attorney, restaurant owner and Iraq War veteran.[14] Fleischmann won the race with 57% of the vote.[15]


In his first reelection campaign, Fleischmann defeated Scottie Mayfield and Weston Wamp in the Republican primary, 39%-31%-29%.[16] He defeated Democratic nominee Mary Headrick in the general election with a large majority of the vote.[17]


On November 4, 2014, Fleischmann defeated Headrick again with 62.3% of the vote.


On November 8, 2016, Fleischmann defeated Democrat Melody Shekari and independent Rick Tyler with 66.4% of the vote.


On November 6, 2018, Fleischmann defeated Democrat Danielle Mitchell and independent Rick Tyler with 63.7% of the vote.


On November 3, 2020, Fleischmann defeated Democrat Meg Gorman with 67.3% of the vote.

Political positions[edit]

Fleischmann tends to vote conservative. The conservative policy advocacy organization, Heritage Action, gave Fleischmann a lifetime score of 74 percent.[18] The conservative and libertarian advocacy group, FreedomWorks, gave him a lifetime score of 70.6 percent.[19] The largest federation of unions in the United States, the AFL-CIO, gave Fleischmann a lifetime score of 12 percent.[20]


In July 2011, Fleischmann originally supported Speaker John Boehner's debt limit bill, but voted against the final debt ceiling agreement.[21]

In November 2011, Fleischmann filed a new bill, the Stop Green Initiative Abuse Act of 2011, which would repeal the Department of Energy's Weatherization Assistance Program. This program attempts to assist low-income families in lowering their energy bills by adding energy-efficient caulking and insulation to homes. A December 2010 Tennessee Comptroller's Office report concluded that funds for the program had been "wasted or misspent". Fleischmann's office estimated that if this bill passed it would save taxpayers $2.1 billion over the next decade. This was the third bill he proposed.

Fleischmann supports the use of nuclear power. His district contains the Sequoyah Nuclear Plant. He is the head of the House Nuclear Cleanup Caucus.[22][23][24][25]

Election laws[edit]

In December 2020, Fleischmann was one of 126 Republican members of the House of Representatives to sign an amicus brief in support of Texas v. Pennsylvania, a lawsuit filed at the United States Supreme Court contesting the results of the 2020 presidential election, in which Joe Biden defeated[26] incumbent Donald Trump. The Supreme Court declined to hear the case on the basis that Texas lacked standing under Article III of the Constitution to challenge the results of an election held by another state.[27][28][29]

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a statement that called signing the amicus brief an act of "election subversion." She also reprimanded Fleischmann and the other House members who supported the lawsuit: "The 126 Republican Members that signed onto this lawsuit brought dishonor to the House. Instead of upholding their oath to support and defend the Constitution, they chose to subvert the Constitution and undermine public trust in our sacred democratic institutions."[30][31] New Jersey Representative Bill Pascrell, citing section three of the 14th Amendment, called for Pelosi to not seat Fleischmann and the other Republicans who signed the brief supporting the suit, arguing that "the text of the 14th Amendment expressly forbids Members of Congress from engaging in rebellion against the United States. Trying to overturn a democratic election and install a dictator seems like a pretty clear example of that."[32]

Foreign policy[edit]

Fleischmann voted to provide Israel with support following the 2023 Hamas attack on Israel.[33][34] When asked about Palestinian deaths from the ongoing Israel–Hamas war, Fleischmann said "I will always support Israel, and you can tell the Palestinians I will never support them."[35] Fleischmann denied Israel is committing a genocide against the Palestinians.[35]

Fleischmann supports sending United States aid to Ukraine.[36]

Government speech[edit]

Fleischmann was one of 120 Republicans who voted against removing Confederate statues from inside the Capitol building.[37]

On November 16, 2011, Fleischmann voted for a bill that encourages the display of "In God We Trust" in public buildings and schools and reinforces it as the motto of the United States.[citation needed]

Gun laws[edit]

Fleischmann in 2017

Fleischmann has been a firm opponent of gun control. He has received an "A" rating from the interest groups "National Rifle Association Political Fund Positions on Gun Rights" and "Gun Owners of America Positions on Gun Rights". He supports legislation that "allows licensed firearm owners to carry out their God-given right more freely" because "the right to carry a firearm is a right that allows law-abiding citizens to protect themselves and is crucial to the freedom of our country." On November 16, 2011, Fleischmann voted for the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011, which would allow a resident of a state that allows concealed carry to possess a firearm while visiting another state that has different firearm laws.

Health care[edit]

Fleischmann's first vote in office was for the 2011 motion Repealing the Health Care Bill.

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus memberships[edit]

Electoral history[edit]

Year Office District Democratic Republican Other
2010 U.S. House of Representatives Tennessee's 3rd district John Wolfe 28.01% Chuck Fleischmann 56.79% Savas T. Kyriakidis (Ind.) 10.54%
2012 U.S. House of Representatives Tennessee's 3rd district Mary M. Headrick 35.46% Chuck Fleischmann 61.45% Matthew Deniston (Ind.) 3.1%
2014 U.S. House of Representatives Tennessee's 3rd district Mary M. Headrick 34.58% Chuck Fleischmann 62.36% Cassandra J Mitchell (Ind.) 3.1%
2016 U.S. House of Representatives Tennessee's 3rd district Melody Shekari 28.85% Chuck Fleischmann 66.39% Rick Tyler (Ind.) 1.9%
2018 U.S. House of Representatives Tennessee's 3rd district Danielle Mitchell 34.48% Chuck Fleischmann 63.68% Rick Tyler (Ind.) 1.84%
2020 U.S. House of Representatives Tennessee's 3rd district Meg Gorman 30.3% Chuck Fleischmann 67.3% Amber Hysell (Ind.) 1.57%
2022 U.S. House of Representatives Tennessee's 3rd district Meg Gorman 30.19% Chuck Fleischmann 68.38% Rick Tyler (Ind.) 0.87%

Personal life[edit]

Fleischmann is married to Brenda M. Fleischmann. They have three sons, and live in Ooltewah. Fleischmann is a Roman Catholic.[41]


  1. ^ "Charles Joseph Fleischmann – a Chattanooga, Tennessee (TN) Collections Lawyer". Pview.findlaw.com. Retrieved 2013-08-01.
  2. ^ "Obituaries: Bordas, Louisa Marie". The Journal News. 8 August 2002. Retrieved 2023-11-28.
  3. ^ a b "Fleischmann, Chuck, (1962 - )". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. n.d. Retrieved 7 May 2019.
  4. ^ "Tennessee Congressional Candidates, Per District". AP.org. 8 August 2014. Archived from the original on 10 March 2016. Retrieved 2016-03-04.
  5. ^ "Fleischmann Captures 3rd District U.S. House Race". The Chattanoogan. 2 November 2010. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
  6. ^ "Chuck Fleischmann for Congress". ChuckForCongress.com. n.d. Archived from the original on 2012-07-30. Retrieved 28 February 2012.
  7. ^ a b c d Kennedy, Mark (May 5, 2015). "How Chuck Fleischmann overcomes the odds". Chattanooga Times Free Press. Retrieved 2020-03-28.
  8. ^ "Chuck Fleischmann (profile)". Knoxville News-Sentinel. October 11, 2014. Retrieved 2020-03-28.
  9. ^ "Attorneys Hope Panel To Improve Lawyers' Images". www.chattanoogan.com. 2002-11-19. Retrieved 2024-05-06.
  10. ^ Schelzig, Erik (22 November 2010). "Command eludes TN GOP conservatives". Kingsport Times-News. Associated Press. Retrieved 7 May 2019.
  11. ^ "TN – District 03 – R Primary Race – Aug 05, 2010". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2013-08-01.
  12. ^ "Republican Primary Unofficial Results" (PDF). SOS.TN.gov. Tennessee Election Commission. Retrieved 7 May 2019.
  13. ^ "Fleischmann Says First Aim Is To "Say Goodby [sic] To Nancy Pelosi"". The Chattanoogan. 30 August 2010. Archived from the original on 29 March 2017.
  14. ^ Hightower, Cliff (2010-11-07). "Tea party activity leaves some Republicans bitter". Chattanooga Times Free Press.
  15. ^ "Election Results Summary of Tennessee Races". MyFox Memphis. 2010-11-03. Archived from the original on 2011-09-29.
  16. ^ Miller, Joshua (August 2, 2012). "Tennessee: Chuck Fleischmann Wins Primary". Roll Call. Archived from the original on 6 August 2012. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
  17. ^ Carroll, Chris (August 3, 2012). "Chuck Fleischmann fends off GOP challengers". Times Free Press. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
  18. ^ "Rep. Chuck Fleischmann". Heritage_Action. Retrieved March 8, 2024.
  19. ^ "Chuck Fleischmann". FreedomWorks. Retrieved March 8, 2024.
  20. ^ "Rep. Chuck Fleischmann". AFL-CIO. Retrieved March 8, 2024.
  21. ^ Carroll, Chris (October 5, 2011). "John Boehner to attend Chuck Fleischmann event". Chattanooga Times Free Press.
  22. ^ "Fleischmann: As Bipartisan Support for Nuclear Energy Grows in Congress, Progressives Should Reconsider Their Opposition". Congressman Chuck Fleischmann. 2020-03-10. Retrieved 2021-07-16.
  23. ^ "Rep. Chuck Fleischmann: Support for Nuclear Energy is Critical for the Future of the American Worker". Congressman Chuck Fleischmann. 2020-08-25. Retrieved 2021-07-16.
  24. ^ "Energy". Congressman Chuck Fleischmann. Retrieved 2021-07-16.
  25. ^ "House Nuclear Cleanup Caucus". Congressman Chuck Fleischmann. 2017-02-21. Retrieved 2021-07-16.
  26. ^ Blood, Michael R.; Riccardi, Nicholas (December 5, 2020). "Biden officially secures enough electors to become president". AP News. Archived from the original on December 8, 2020. Retrieved December 12, 2020.
  27. ^ Liptak, Adam (2020-12-11). "Supreme Court Rejects Texas Suit Seeking to Subvert Election". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on December 11, 2020. Retrieved 2020-12-12.
  28. ^ "Order in Pending Case" (PDF). Supreme Court of the United States. 2020-12-11. Archived (PDF) from the original on December 11, 2020. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
  29. ^ Diaz, Daniella. "Brief from 126 Republicans supporting Texas lawsuit in Supreme Court". CNN. Archived from the original on December 12, 2020. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
  30. ^ Smith, David (2020-12-12). "Supreme court rejects Trump-backed Texas lawsuit aiming to overturn election results". The Guardian. Retrieved 2020-12-13.
  31. ^ "Pelosi Statement on Supreme Court Rejecting GOP Election Sabotage Lawsuit" (Press release). Speaker Nancy Pelosi. December 11, 2020. Archived from the original on August 14, 2022. Retrieved December 13, 2020.
  32. ^ Williams, Jordan (2020-12-11). "Democrat asks Pelosi to refuse to seat lawmakers supporting Trump's election challenges". The Hill. Archived from the original on December 12, 2020. Retrieved 2020-12-12.
  33. ^ Demirjian, Karoun (2023-10-25). "House Declares Solidarity With Israel in First Legislation Under New Speaker". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-10-30.
  34. ^ Washington, U. S. Capitol Room H154; p:225-7000, DC 20515-6601 (2023-10-25). "Roll Call 528 Roll Call 528, Bill Number: H. Res. 771, 118th Congress, 1st Session". Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives. Retrieved 2023-10-30.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  35. ^ a b Salvemini, Chris (March 7, 2024). "'I will tell you to your face: Goodbye to Palestine' Congressman from East TN says Israel not guilty of genocide in widely shared video". WBIR-TV. Retrieved March 8, 2024. The man then asks Fleischmann if Israel would stay an ally of the U.S., even if it commits genocide. Fleischmann said "that's your term," and the man started discussing the number of Palestinian deaths in the Israel-Gaza Crisis. "Let me tell you a statistic. Israel will exist. The Jewish state will exist, and that is for God to do," said Fleischmann."I will always support Israel, and you can tell the Palestinians I will never support them." The man then tells him that he is Palestinian in the video. "Then I will tell you, I will never support you. I will tell you to your face: Goodbye to Palestine,'" Fleischmann said. "Goodbye! ... The Jewish people will never suffer again under Palestinian terrorism, under Hamas, under Hezbollah. Israel will be secure forever."
  36. ^ Sergey, Bobok (October 20, 2022). "With GOP skeptics of Ukraine aid poised to gain seats in Congress, lawmakers look to lock in a huge military assistance package". NBC News. Retrieved March 8, 2024. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tenn., a member of the powerful Appropriations Committee that controls spending, said providing weapons and other assistance to Ukraine is crucial to halting Russia's unprovoked invasion. "I voted for the first funding bill, and I would be open to discussing more funding," Fleischmann said. "If we do not take the necessary steps for Ukraine to protect its nation and sovereignty against Russia, I think the ripple effects will end up costing not only the United States but the world a lot more."
  37. ^ Palmer, Ewan (June 30, 2021). "Full List of 120 House Republicans Who Voted Against Removing Confederate Statues". Newsweek. Retrieved March 8, 2024.
  38. ^ "Our Members". U.S. House of Representatives International Conservation Caucus. n.d. Archived from the original on 1 August 2018. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  39. ^ "Members". USJapanCaucus-Castro.house.gov. U.S.-Japan Congressional Caucus. n.d. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  40. ^ "Member List". Republican Study Committee. Archived from the original on 1 January 2019. Retrieved 21 December 2017.
  41. ^ "Members of Congress: Religious Affiliations". PewForum.org. Pew Research Center. 5 January 2015. Retrieved 7 May 2019.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Tennessee's 3rd congressional district

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by United States representatives by seniority
Succeeded by