Almanac A members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics

Rep. Charles Fleischmann (R)

Tennessee | District 3

N/A

fleischmann.house.gov

Biography

Elected: 2010, 2nd term.

Born: October 11, 1962, New York, NY

Home: Ooltewah, TN

Education: U. of IL, B.A. 1983; U. of TN, J.D. 1986.

Professional Career: Practicing atty., 1987-2010.

Ethnicity: White/Caucasian

Religion: Roman Catholic

Family: Married (Brenda) , 3 children

Republican Charles (Chuck) Fleischmann was elected in 2010 to succeed GOP Rep. Zach Wamp, who ran unsuccessfully for governor. Fleischmann is more of a team player than the independent-minded Wamp and was rewarded in 2013 with a seat on the Appropriations Committee.

When he was a boy, Fleischmann's father, Max, worked in the food services business. The family moved often, following his father’s job opportunities. Fleischmann, an only child, lived in Philadelphia and New Jersey before finishing high school in Chicago. His mother, Rose Marie, was diagnosed with terminal cancer when he was nine and died when he was 14. He excelled in school, graduating from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in three years with a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1983. He went to the University of Tennessee, in Knoxville, for his law degree in the mid-1980s and adopted the state as his home. He clerked for Knoxville lawyer Foster Arnett and then started his own firm with his wife, Brenda.

When Wamp announced he would leave Congress to run for governor in 2010, Fleischmann decided to run, saying he was “very, very upset with the way things were going in Washington, D.C.” In the August primary, his most formidable opponent was health care consultant Robin Smith, a former Republican state party chairwoman. Fleischmann put $544,000 of his own money into the campaign and ran ads that accused Smith of mismanaging funds when she chaired the Tennessee GOP.

Smith went after Fleischmann’s record as a personal injury lawyer, saying that he had sued gun clubs, Wal-Mart stores, and churches, all popular institutions in the state. It was a potentially fatal line of attack, but Fleischmann defended himself by saying, “I make a living standing up for the little guy, people who have traditionally not had a voice and who have been dealt injustices and harm.” In the end, Fleischmann edged out Smith, 30%-28%. His Democratic opponent, radio talk show personality John Wolfe, was the same unsuccessful challenger Wamp had faced in 2002 and 2004. Fleischmann won an easy 67%-33% victory.

In the House, Fleischmann has been a dependable GOP vote; he was the chamber's 18th most conservative member in 2013, according to National Journal rankings. He is capable of serving up red-meat rhetoric; asked at a 2012 debate for his views on climate change, he responded: “I think we ought to take Al Gore, put him on an iceberg, and put him way out there.”

He joined the state’s other GOP House members in supporting riders in the House’s fiscal 2011 budget bill aimed at limiting the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority, with one notable exception: He opposed an amendment blocking the Environmental Protection Agency from tightening the standards governing particulate matter, a nod to Chattanooga’s earlier efforts to clean its air. Although he opposed raising the debt ceiling in 2011 and the compromise to avoid the fiscal cliff in 2013, he was loyal to GOP leaders on other votes. The Chattanooga Free Press’ editorial page, in endorsing him for reelection, complained that “his unwillingness to vote against his party … is exasperating.”

He joined fellow Tennessee freshman Republican Scott DesJarlais in opposing an Energy Department plan to consolidate management of Oak Ridge’s Y-12 weapons plant with the one at Texas’ Pantex facility, and he stressed the need for money to replace Chickamauga’s deteriorating 75-year-old river lock by overhauling the project’s funding mechanism, the Inland Waterway Trust Fund. His position on Appropriations, especially its Energy and Water Development Subcommittee, gives him a critical voice on those local needs.

Fleischmann has survived two grueling primary fights against Wamp's son, Weston Wamp. In 2012, he drew spirited challenges from the 25-year-old Wamp and dairy magnate Scottie Mayfield. Neither Wamp nor Mayfield was as polished as Fleischmann, who also raised much more money. He won the primary with 39%, as Mayfield took 31% and Wamp 29%. He narrowly lost Chattanooga-based Hamilton County to Wamp but prevailed in most of the smaller, rural areas. His Democratic general election opponent, acute care physician Mary Headrick, accused him of being in the pocket of special interests and blasted his proposal to cut capital gains taxes. But she raised just $119,000 to his $1.4 million, and he coasted to a win with 61% of the vote.

Wamp returned for another try in 2014 in what became an even tighter race. He learned from his earlier experience and ran a smoother campaign. Calling himself an "independent-minded conservative," he courted votes from Democrats, who were eligible to vote in the primary. Fleischmann rebuked him at one debate, saying, "If he wants to run as a Democrat, let him run as a Democrat." Wamp responded that the congressman apparently believed "that Democrats have cooties and you can't talk to them." Fleischmann retorted, "They have got a lot worse than that, Weston."

Fleischmann also accused Wamp of being a "show horse" and supporting "amnesty" for illegal immigrants. The latter prompted a rebuke from Oklahoma GOP Sen. Tom Coburn, who endorsed the challenger along with ex-Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and the district's two largest newspapers. Nevertheless, Fleischmann managed to eke out a win in the August primary, 51%-49%.

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-3271

(202) 225-3494

CHOB- Cannon House Office Building Room 230
Washington, DC 20515-4203

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-3271

(202) 225-3494

CHOB- Cannon House Office Building Room 230
Washington, DC 20515-4203

DISTRICT OFFICE

(202) 225-3271

(202) 225-3494

900 Georgia Avenue Suite 126
Chattanooga, TN 37402-2282

DISTRICT OFFICE

(423) 756-2342

(423) 756-6613

900 Georgia Avenue Suite 126
Chattanooga, TN 37402-2282

DISTRICT OFFICE

(865) 576-1976

(865) 576-3221

200 Administration Road Suite 100
Oak Ridge, TN 37839-8823

DISTRICT OFFICE

(202) 225-3271

(202) 225-3494

200 Administration Road Suite 100
Oak Ridge, TN 37839-8823

DISTRICT OFFICE

(423) 745-4671

(423) 745-6025

6 East Madison Avenue
Athens, TN 37303-3697

DISTRICT OFFICE

(202) 225-3271

(202) 225-3494

6 East Madison Avenue
Athens, TN 37303-3697

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

(202) 225-3271

(202) 225-3494

PO Box 1191
Chattanooga, TN 37401

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

735 Broad Street Suite 1000
Chattanooga, TN 37402

EXPORT CONTACTS » *

Staff

Sort by: Interest Name Title

Abortion

Conner Ingram
Legislative Assistant

Aerospace

Daniel Tidwell
Legislative Director

Agriculture

Conner Ingram
Legislative Assistant

Appropriations

Daniel Tidwell
Legislative Director

Budget

Daniel Tidwell
Legislative Director

Campaign

Daniel Tidwell
Legislative Director

Commerce

Daniel Tidwell
Legislative Director

Communication

James Hippe
Chief of Staff

jim.hippe@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-3271

Energy

Daniel Tidwell
Legislative Director

Environment

Daniel Tidwell
Legislative Director

Finance

Daniel Tidwell
Legislative Director

Foreign

Daniel Tidwell
Legislative Director

Govt Ops

Conner Ingram
Legislative Assistant

Gun Issues

Conner Ingram
Legislative Assistant

Health

Conner Ingram
Legislative Assistant

Human Rights

Conner Ingram
Legislative Assistant

Internet

James Hippe
Chief of Staff

jim.hippe@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-3271

Judiciary

James Hippe
Chief of Staff

jim.hippe@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-3271

Daniel Tidwell
Legislative Director

Military

Conner Ingram
Legislative Assistant

Native Americans

Daniel Tidwell
Legislative Director

Recreation

Daniel Tidwell
Legislative Director

Science

James Hippe
Chief of Staff

jim.hippe@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-3271

Daniel Tidwell
Legislative Director

Social Security

Conner Ingram
Legislative Assistant

Tax

Daniel Tidwell
Legislative Director

Technology

James Hippe
Chief of Staff

jim.hippe@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-3271

Daniel Tidwell
Legislative Director

Veterans

Conner Ingram
Legislative Assistant

Election Results

2014 GENERAL
Charles Fleischmann
Votes: 97,301
Percent: 62.37%
Mary Headrick
Votes: 53,943
Percent: 34.58%
2012 GENERAL
Charles Fleischmann
Votes: 157,830
Percent: 61.45%
Mary Headrick
Votes: 91,094
Percent: 35.47%
2012 PRIMARY
Charles Fleischmann
Votes: 29,947
Percent: 39.07%
Scottie Mayfield
Votes: 23,779
Percent: 31.02%
Weston Wamp
Votes: 21,997
Percent: 28.7%
2010 GENERAL
Charles Fleischmann
Votes: 92,032
Percent: 56.79%
John Wolfe
Votes: 45,387
Percent: 28.01%
Savas Kyriakidis
Votes: 17,077
Percent: 10.54%
2010 PRIMARY
Charles Fleischmann
Votes: 26,869
Percent: 29.67%
Robin Smith
Votes: 25,454
Percent: 28.11%
Tim Gobble
Votes: 14,274
Percent: 15.76%
Van Irion
Votes: 10,492
Percent: 11.59%
Tommy Crangle
Votes: 5,149
Percent: 5.69%
Art Rhodes
Votes: 4,552
Percent: 5.03%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (57%)

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