This election season, Action News 5's Joe Birch is profiling candidates in important races across the Mid-South:
DYERSBURG, TN (WMC-TV) - At nearly six million dollars, republicans running for Congress in Tennessee's 8th District spent the of any primary race in the United States in 2010
When it was all over, and candidates George Flinn and Ron Kirkland, both doctors, threw in the towel to a gospel-singing farmer from Frog Jump.
Stephen Fincher wants to represent Tennessee's 8th District, stretching from Frayser and Raleigh to the Kentucky Line, and all the way to the outskirts of Nashville.
Fincher recently told a small crowd at Dyersburg State Community College about his first trip to Washington.
"I'd never been to Washington until December, and I got to speak in conference to about 100 republican congressmen," he said. "I stood and I said, 'Can I be honest?' and they said, 'Yes, sir,' and I said, 'I don't like it up here,' and they said, 'If you keep it that way, you'll be the best congressman we've ever had."
Riding an anti-Washington wave, Fincher has rocked politics in Tennessee's sprawling 8th District.
Fincher plays bass guitar and sings with "The Fincher Family": his dad, cousin and uncle.
"We've been, I think over the last 10 years, probably in over 500 churches in the 8th District," he said.
>>Click here to watch more of Joe Birch's interview with Stephen Fincher.<<
Fincher graduated from Crockett County High School while simultaneously playing a role in his family's large multi-county farming operation. Fincher says friends recruited him to run with a "Plow Congress" campaign theme:
"I started when I was 10-years-old farming," he said. "I had my own crop when I was 12, and was doing budgets at 13 - learning what it was to run a business. We've been in it for all of our lives, and at 18, I had my own stake and we've been successful."
Fincher says he manages his farm budget, and wouldn't try to impose any new taxes on Americans - even the richest one percent.
"If you punish the job creators, they're not going to create jobs," he said.
Fincher says he's running to create a better America for his wife of 19 years and their three children. Polls in the conservative district have Fincher leading, even though he has rejected the traditional candidate scrutiny of releasing his tax returns, answering questions at newspaper editorial boards and debating his chief opponent, Democrat Roy Herron
During the campaign, Herron has sometime ended up on stage with the two Tea Party Candidates like he did last Tuesday in Millington. Fincher explained why he did not attend that event.
"We had one in Trenton," he said. "We had one on the books. We have two or three things every night."
Fincher has harnessed the Tea Party's rejection of Obamacare and bail-outs, and may deliver a crucial victory that could lead to a Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives:
"I love farming y'all, I really do, and I miss it, but this is more important," he said.
Action News 5 will profile Fincher's opponent, Democrat Roy Herron, Wednesday on Action News 5 at 6.