In an August 14 press release, Diane Black for Governor announced “conservative leaders” former U.S. Congressman Stephen Fincher and former Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey as co-chairmen for her campaign.
Dubbed “the latest sign that conservatives across Tennessee are rallying behind Diane Black’s campaign for governor,” the duo “will play a major role in [the] campaign.”
Fincher represented the West Tennessee 8th Congressional District from 2011 to 2017, the same year that Black was elected to the Middle Tennessee 6th Congressional District.
During his six years in Congress, Fincher would hardly be considered a conservative, even against Black’s relatively moderate scores.
Black’s FreedomWorks lifetime score is 83 percent, while Fincher’s is 75 percent. Black’s Heritage Action score is 85 percent, while Fincher’s is 73 percent or sixth of seven Republicans, trailed only by Chuck Fleischman (TN-03) at 72 percent and two Democrats.
Additionally, GovTrack rated Fincher as the second most absent for votes among all 432 House of Representatives rated in the 114th Congress (2015-16), which then makes him the ninth of nine for absences among the Tennessee delegation.
Ron Ramsey was the first Republican to serve as Lt. Governor and Senate Speaker since Reconstruction, and is credited with strong leadership and a major force in achieving the Republican super majorities in the House and Senate as he served 24 years in the state legislature, including two terms in the House before he was elected to the Senate in 1996.
Since his retirement in 2016, Ramsey took a vocal role in Governor Haslam’s gas tax increasing IMPROVE Act as a paid consultant to the pro-tax Tennessee Coalition on Transportation, appearing at the WWTN 99.7 Town Hall, which he later said was “perfectly acceptable and in complete conformance with the rules and regulations of the Tennessee Ethics Commission.”
After the passage of the IMPROVE Act, Ramsey appeared at a press conference and said “when I was in the legislature, let me assure you, actions had consequences,” referring to the “punishment levied against some House members on funding,” through the lack of funding allocated to Washington and Johnson counties, represented by Timothy Hill and Micah Van Huss, both of whom voted against the IMPROVE Act.
Between Black, Ramsey and Fincher, the Diane Black for Governor campaign will be well connected in each of Tennessee’s three grand divisions.
The full text of the announcement can be read here:
Diane Black for Governor announces Campaign Co-Chairmen
Conservative leaders Stephen Fincher and Ron Ramsey will play major role in campaign
GALLATIN, Tennessee – It’s the latest sign that conservatives across Tennessee are rallying behind Diane Black’s campaign for Governor — former Congressman Stephen Fincher and conservative former Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey will Co-Chair the Diane Black for Governor campaign. Fincher represented the West Tennessee 8th Congressional District from 2011-2017. Ramsey was Lt. Governor of Tennessee from 2007-2017 and has long been the leader of Northeast Tennessee’s conservative bloc.
“As Diane Black’s State Co-Chair, I can’t wait to get on the road and be a strong voice for Diane’s conservative message,” said Fincher. “From the very moment she told me she was running – I said Yes! Run for Governor. Tennessee needs your ideas, experience and solutions to the challenging issues facing Tennessee.
In Diane, we have a conservative Tennessee leader who knows how to fight and win. Time and time again she fights for what’s right. Pro-life, lower taxes, against sanctuary cities. She’s a formidable leader with humble beginnings who doesn’t back down. We need Diane Black as our next Governor. There is too much at stake in the future of Tennessee to do otherwise.”
A seventh-generation farmer, Fincher is a managing partner in Fincher Farms, a family business that grows cotton, corn, soybeans, and wheat on more than 2,500 acres in west Tennessee. In 2010, Fincher became the first Republican in 48 years to represent Tennessee’s 8th Congressional District in Congress.
“I’ve seen Diane Black work and I know what kind of back bone she has, said Ramsey. “We need a conservative like Diane Black who will fight for what’s right and not back down. It is an honor to introduce her to my friends and work hard to make her our next Governor.”
Ramsey was the first Republican Lt. Governor in 138 years upon his election in 2007. He is the longest serving Republican Lt. Governor in Tennessee history. He is the founder and owner of Ron Ramsey and Associates, a realty and auction firm located in Blountville.
“I am honored to have the support of conservative leaders who fight back and that’s exactly the kind of leaders Stephen Fincher and Ron Ramsey have always been,” said Black. “They put conservative principles to work and never backed down when those principles were challenged. I look forward to working with them to reform our schools, stand strong for tough borders, and lower taxes. We are putting together a strong team from the suburbs to the small towns to the rural counties and we are going to win this race.”