Tim Burchett

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Tim Burchett
Rep. Tim Burchett official photo, 116th congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Tennessee's 2nd district
Assumed office
January 3, 2019
Preceded byJimmy Duncan
Mayor of Knox County
In office
September 1, 2010 – September 1, 2018
Preceded byMike Ragsdale
Succeeded byGlenn Jacobs
Member of the Tennessee Senate
from the 7th district
In office
January 1999 – September 1, 2010
Preceded byBud Gilbert
Succeeded byStacey Campfield
Member of the Tennessee House of Representatives
from the 18th district
In office
January 1995 – January 1999
Preceded byMaria Peroulas Draper[1]
Succeeded bySteven Buttry[2]
Personal details
Born
Timothy Floyd Burchett

(1964-08-25) August 25, 1964 (age 57)
Knoxville, Tennessee, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)
Allison Beaver
(m. 2008; div. 2012)

Kelly Kimball
(m. 2014)
Children1
EducationUniversity of Tennessee (BS)
WebsiteHouse website

Timothy Floyd Burchett (born August 25, 1964) is an American politician who is the U.S. Representative for Tennessee's 2nd congressional district, based in Knoxville, serving since 2019.

A Republican, Burchett was formerly mayor of Knox County, Tennessee. He served in the Tennessee General Assembly, first in the Tennessee House of Representatives, in which he represented Tennessee's 18th District.[3] He later served in the Tennessee State Senate, representing District 7, part of Knox County.

Early life and education[edit]

Burchett is a native of Knoxville, where he was born in 1964 and attended West Hills Elementary School, Bearden Junior High School, and Bearden High School.[4][5] After graduating from Bearden High School in 1982, he enrolled in the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, where he earned a B.S. degree in education.[4][5] He is a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity.

State legislature[edit]

Burchett's first election to public office was in 1994, when he won a seat in the Tennessee House of Representatives. He served in the House for two two-year terms, from 1995 to 1998.[6][7] In 1998, he won a four-year term in the Tennessee State Senate, representing the 7th district. He succeeded Clyde Coulter "Bud" Gilbert.[8] He was reelected twice, serving a total of three four-year terms, from 1999 to 2010.[4][5]

In 2006, while a state senator, Burchett failed to report six political action committee checks totaling $3,300. The Registry of Election Finance did not fine him.[9] In 2008, while still a state senator, he was fined $250 for failing to disclose three PAC contributions that totaled $1,500.[9]

Roadkill

In 1999, Burchett received national media attention for sponsoring a bill to legalize the eating of roadkill, wild animals killed by vehicles, before notifying the county game warden.[10][11] He defended the proposal as a "common-sense thing" intended to prevent edible meat from being wasted. Eating roadkill was already legal – as it is in most places – but required prior notification of the county game warden. Burchett's bill allowed processing and consumption of roadkill before notifying the warden. Burchett proposed the bill after being contacted by a constituent who had been penalized for giving a needy family the meat from a deer his vehicle had accidentally hit.[11]

Salvia divinorum

Burchett sponsored a bill in 2006 to make illegal "possessing, producing, manufacturing, distributing, or possessing with intent to produce, manufacture, or distribute the active chemical ingredient in the hallucinogenic plant Salvia divinorum in the state of Tennessee."[12] He said, "We have enough problems with illegal drugs as it is without people promoting getting high from some glorified weed that's been brought up from Mexico. The only people I’ve heard from who are opposed to making it illegal are those who are getting stoned on it."[13] The bill was signed into law on May 19, 2006, and went into effect on July 1, 2006.[12] Burchett originally wanted to make violations a felony offense, but the bill was amended during its passage to make it a Class A misdemeanor.[14]

In a news report published shortly before the signing of the bill by Governor Phil Bredesen, Burchett was quoted as saying, "it's not that popular but I'm one of those who believes in closing the barn door before the cows get out.... in certain hands, it could be very dangerous, even lethal."[15] A store owner who had stopped selling the herb due to Burchett's bill said that he saw little point in banning salvia, "I have no idea why it's being outlawed. It's a sage. People in South America have been using it for years and years." The same report also gave the general counterargument of salvia proponents that legislation banning Salvia divinorum reflects a cultural bias, as there are fewer prohibitions on more addictive substances such as alcohol and nicotine, and questioned how effective the bill will be, pointing out that Salvia divinorum has no odor and is easy to grow, so enforcement will be difficult.[15]

Knox County mayor[edit]

Burchett speaking at the 2012 community budget hearings

Burchett became Knox County mayor in September 2010, succeeding Mike Ragsdale, who left office due to term limits. Burchett defeated former Knox County Sheriff Tim Hutchison in the Republican primary and Democratic nominee Ezra Maize in the general election.[16][17]

On February 10, 2012, Burchett appeared on WBIR-TV and officially announced that the county's first "cash mob" would be held at the Emory 5 & 10 store in South Knoxville.[18] The cash mob gained national attention,[19] and was mentioned in Time magazine.[20]

In 2012, Tennessee's Registry of Election Finance unanimously decided to take no action against Burchett regarding an inquiry into his campaign disclosure forms.[21]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Elections[edit]

2018

When 30-year incumbent Jimmy Duncan announced his retirement in July 2017, Burchett entered a crowded seven-way Republican primary to succeed him. He defeated his nearest challenger, state representative Jimmy Matlock, by just under 12 percentage points. He faced Democratic nominee Renee Hoyos in the November general election. The 2nd has long been a Republican stronghold. With a Cook Partisan Voting Index of R+20, it is one of the nation's most Republican districts, and tied for the third-most Republican district in Tennessee. It is one of the few ancestrally Republican districts in the South; the GOP and its predecessors have held it without interruption since 1859. For this reason, the Republican primary has long been reckoned as the real contest in this district. Democrats have not made a substantive bid for the seat since 1964, and have received as much as 40% of the vote only twice since then.

As expected, Burchett won the general election in a rout, taking 65.9% of the vote to Hoyos's 33.1%.[22] When he took office in January 2019, Burchett became only the seventh person (not counting caretakers) to represent the 2nd since 1909. This district gives its representatives very long tenures in Washington; all six of Burchett's predecessors held the seat for at least 10 years, with three of them serving at least 20 years. He also ended a 54-year hold on the district by the Duncan family. John Duncan Sr. won the seat in 1964, and was succeeded upon his death in 1988 by his son, Jimmy.

In February 2018 the Knoxville News Sentinel reported that Burchett had failed to report a $10,000 payment from a solar electric company on his campaign finance forms and various financial disclosure forms. The story reported that two months earlier the FBI had questioned people about Burchett committing income tax evasion.[23] After the story broke, Burchett gave a statement to WBIR that he was correcting errors in his campaign financial disclosures and income tax forms, describing his failure to report all income as an "oversight".[24]

Tenure[edit]

Texas v. Pennsylvania[edit]

In December 2020, Burchett 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[25] 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.[26][27][28]

Iraq[edit]

In June 2021, Burchett was one of 49 House Republicans to vote to repeal the AUMF against Iraq.[29][30]

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus memberships[edit]

Electoral history[edit]

Republican primary results
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Tim Burchett 47,914 48.2
Republican Jimmy Matlock 35,845 36.1
Republican Sarah Ashley Nickloes 10,955 11.0
Republican Jason Emert 2,274 2.3
Republican Hank Hamblin 855 0.9
Republican Vito Sagliano 844 0.8
Republican C. David Stansberry 656 0.7
Total votes 99,343 100.0
Tennessee's 2nd congressional district, 2018
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Tim Burchett 172,856 65.9
Democratic Renee Hoyos 86,668 33.1
Independent Greg Samples 967 0.4
Independent Jeffrey Grunau 657 0.3
Independent Marc Whitmire 637 0.2
Independent Keith LaTorre 349 0.1
Total votes 262,134 100.0
Republican hold

Personal life[edit]

In June 2008, Burchett married Allison Beaver in an impromptu ceremony conducted by Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen.[35][36] In April 2012, Beaver filed for divorce, citing "irreconcilable differences".[37] The divorce was finalized later that year.[38] In 2014, Burchett married Kelly Kimball. He later became a legal guardian to Kimball's daughter.[39]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Senate veteran Albright unseated in primary". The Tennessean. August 5, 1994. p. 8AA. Retrieved January 30, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  2. ^ Pinkston, Will (November 4, 1998). "Democrats keep state Senate despite ad blitz". The Tennessean. p. 16A. Retrieved January 30, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  3. ^ "Tennessee House Members 99th GA". www.capitol.tn.gov. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
  4. ^ a b c "Tennessee Senate: Tim Burchett". Tennessee Senate: 105th General Assembly (2007–2008) (website archives). Retrieved April 17, 2013.
  5. ^ a b c "Mayor Tim Burchett Bio". Retrieved April 17, 2013.
  6. ^ "Tennessee House Members 99th GA". house.tn.gov. Retrieved July 14, 2021.
  7. ^ "Tennessee House Members 100th GA". house.tn.gov. Retrieved July 14, 2021.
  8. ^ "Our Campaigns – TN Senate 07 Race – Nov 03, 1998". www.ourcampaigns.com. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
  9. ^ a b Ebert, Joel; Boucher, Dave (December 1, 2017). "Sources: FBI asks questions about Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett; mayor says 'no truth to any of it'". Knoxville News Sentinel. Archived from the original on August 14, 2018. Retrieved August 5, 2018.
  10. ^ Barker, Scott; Keim, David (August 20, 2008). "Burchett plans to run for county mayor". Knoxville News Sentinel. Archived from the original on January 27, 2013.
  11. ^ a b Firestone, David (March 14, 1999). "Statehouse Journal; A Road-Kill Proposal Is Food for Jokesters". The New York Times. Archived from the original on March 25, 2019.
  12. ^ a b "Senate Bill No. 3247; An Act to amend Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 39, Chapter 17, Part 4, relative to certain hallucinogenic plants" (PDF). Public Acts 2006, Chapter 700. General Assembly of the State of Tennessee. May 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 4, 2007.
  13. ^ Nashville Bureau Reporter (April 2006). "The Senate passed (290–0) SB 3247". 8 (32). Nashville Bureau. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  14. ^ Siebert, Daniel. "The Legal Status of Salvia divinorum". The Salvia divinorum Research and Information Center. Retrieved March 4, 2007.
  15. ^ a b O'Rourke, Shea (May 24, 2006). "Smoking Out – Tennessee bill bans hallucinogenic herb salvia". Memphis Flyer. Archived from the original on September 9, 2008. Retrieved September 9, 2008.
  16. ^ Donila, Mike (August 6, 2010). "Burchett: 'Precise plan' needed for mayor post". Knoxville News Sentinel. Archived from the original on October 10, 2012.
  17. ^ Donila, Mike (September 4, 2011). "One year in, Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett says he delivered". Knoxville News Sentinel. Archived from the original on February 27, 2014.
  18. ^ "Cash Mob underway at Emery's 5 & 10". WBIR-TV. February 10, 2012. Archived from the original on February 2, 2014.
  19. ^ "'Cash mobs': Flash mobs go to bat for small local businesses". NBC News. February 14, 2012. Archived from the original on December 26, 2013. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
  20. ^ "Knox County's Cash Mob gets a nod in TIME Magazine". WATE-TV. October 29, 2012. Archived from the original on February 19, 2014.
  21. ^ Donila, Mike (October 23, 2012). "State board takes no action against Mayor Tim Burchett over campaign disclosure forms". Knoxville News Sentinel. Archived from the original on February 1, 2020.
  22. ^ Tennessee House results from CNN
  23. ^ Ebert, Joel (February 8, 2018). "Ethics complaint: Tim Burchett never reported $10,000 payment while in state Senate". Knoxville News Sentinel. Archived from the original on July 9, 2019. Retrieved August 5, 2018.
  24. ^ "Knox Co. Mayor calls tax mistake an 'oversight'". WBIR-TV. February 12, 2018. Retrieved February 10, 2018.
  25. ^ 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.
  26. ^ Liptak, Adam (December 11, 2020). "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 December 12, 2020.
  27. ^ "Order in Pending Case" (PDF). Supreme Court of the United States. December 11, 2020. Archived (PDF) from the original on December 11, 2020. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
  28. ^ 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.
  29. ^ https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/house-set-repeal-2002-iraq-war-authorization-n1271107
  30. ^ https://clerk.house.gov/evs/2021/roll172.xml
  31. ^ "The Voter's Self Defense System". Vote Smart. Retrieved September 26, 2019.
  32. ^ "Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Membership".
  33. ^ "U.S. Rep. Burchett to Welcome OHCE Attendees | ARV". www.arvc.org. Retrieved September 26, 2019.
  34. ^ "Member List". Republican Study Committee. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
  35. ^ "Sen. Burchett's getting hitched". Knoxville News Sentinel. April 22, 2008. Archived from the original on June 29, 2013.
  36. ^ "Sen. Tim Burchett ties the knot, Gov. Bredesen officiates". WATE-TV. June 17, 2008. Archived from the original on February 20, 2014.
  37. ^ Donila, Mike (April 20, 2012). "Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett's wife files for divorce". Knoxville News Sentinel. Archived from the original on June 29, 2013.
  38. ^ Satterfield, Jamie (October 1, 2012). "Mayor Burchett, estranged wife reach divorce settlement". Knoxville News Sentinel. Archived from the original on August 20, 2018.
  39. ^ "PolitiKnox Insider: Tim Burchett becomes a father". www.knoxnews.com. December 29, 2015. Retrieved June 16, 2021.

External links[edit]

Tennessee House of Representatives
Preceded by
Maria Peroulas Draper
Member of the Tennessee House of Representatives
from the 18th district

1995–1998
Succeeded by
Steven Buttry
Tennessee Senate
Preceded by
Bud Gilbert
Member of the Tennessee Senate
from the 7th district

1999–2010
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by
Mike Ragsdale
Mayor of Knox County
2010–2018
Succeeded by
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Tennessee's 2nd congressional district

2019–present
Incumbent
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by United States representatives by seniority
302nd
Succeeded by