Stephen Fincher, the farmer/gospel singer from Frog Jump in Crockett County who was early frontrunner in the 8th congressional district Republican primary, got another boost Tuesday. He received the endorsement of Tennessee Right to Life, whose president, Brian Harris, called Fincher the only one of three GOP candidates who scored 100 percent on all of the anti-abortion group’s list of criteria
Those criteria included evaluations of public statements, evidence of personal commitment to the organization’s goals, media reports, and “an in-depth survey coordinated by national Right to Life,” explained Harris.
Fincher said he considered the Right to Life endorsement “very important” and said the group’s “core principles” were essentially his own. “This is a Christian nation, and the road map to success as a nation is our Constitution and our faith,” he said.
Harris said one of Fincher’s GOP rivals, Ron Kirkland of Jackson, had cooperated with the Right to Life survey but that the third Republican in the primary, George Flinn of Memphis, had not. “We reached out to him and got no response,” Harris said.
A spokesman for the Flinn campaign said, “We are unaware of having received an inquiry from Tennessee Right to Life. But George Flinn’s 100 percent record of support for the pro-life position speaks for itself.”
On other matters, Fincher responded to criticism from officers of the Mid-South Tea Party about his absence at a recent 8th district forum arranged by the group, one that was attended by both Kirkland and Flinn. Fincher said he had another engagement the night of the forum and “couldn’t get out of it.” He said he had apologized to Mid-South Tea Party for not being there.
Asked about another charge, this one from Kirkland, that he was running as a Republican but had voted earlier this year in a local Democratic primary election in Crockett County, Fincher said he valued the franchise “fought for by our veterans," and said, “We only have Democratic primaries in Crockett County. You cannot vote if you don’t vote in Democratic primaries.”
Fincher called the charge “desperate” and added that Kirkland himself had voted several times in Democratic primaries in Madison County