Tom Graves

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Tom Graves
Tom Graves Official Portrait.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 14th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded byConstituency established
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 9th district
In office
June 8, 2010 – January 3, 2013
Preceded byNathan Deal
Succeeded byDoug Collins
Member of the Georgia House of Representatives
from the 12th district
In office
January 3, 2005 – March 23, 2010
Preceded byJeff Lewis
Succeeded byRick Jasperse
Member of the Georgia House of Representatives
from the 10th district
In office
January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2005
Preceded byTom Shanahan
Succeeded byBen Bridges
Personal details
BornJohn Thomas Graves Jr.
(1970-02-03) February 3, 1970 (age 48)
St. Petersburg, Florida, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Julie Howard (m. 1996)
EducationUniversity of Georgia (BBA)
WebsiteHouse website

John Thomas Graves Jr. (born February 3, 1970) is the U.S. Representative for Georgia's 14th congressional district, serving since winning a special election for Georgia's 9th congressional district in 2010. He is a member of the Republican Party. Graves served in the Georgia House of Representatives before being elected to the House of Representatives.

Early life, education, and business career

Tom Graves was born in St. Petersburg, Florida on February 3, 1970.[1] He graduated from Cass High School in Cartersville, Georgia, where he played linebacker and offensive guard on the school football team.[2] Graves earned his Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Georgia. After college, he bought a landscaping company before working in real estate investment.[2] Graves lives in Ranger, Georgia, southeast of Dalton.[1]

In 2007, Graves and former Georgia Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers took out a loan from Bartow County Bank to purchase and renovate a motel in Calhoun. In 2011, it was reported that Bartow County Bank had sued Rogers and Graves for defaulting on their $2.2 million bank loan. They countersued the bank in response.[3][4] In August 2011, both parties dismissed their claims before going to hearing, settling the dispute out of court, and no details of the settlement were disclosed.[4][5] Graves received criticism in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on the grounds that the outcome of this business venture appeared to some individuals to undermine his stated commitment to fiscal responsibility.[6]

Georgia House of Representatives


Tom E. Shanahan retired as Representative to Georgia's 10th District in 2002, and Graves won as his successor with 60 percent of the vote.[7] Graves later ran, unopposed, to serve as House Representative to Georgia's 12th district in 2004.[8] He was re-elected, after two races in which he ran against primary challenger Bill Pickett in 2006[9] and unopposed in 2008.[10]

Committee assignments

Graves served on the Transportation, Ways and Means committee and on the Health and Human services committee during his tenure in the Georgia House of Representatives.[11] He also served as Vice Chairman on the Motor Vehicles committee.[12]


As a member of the Georgia House, Graves supported legislation to provide tax cuts and tax credits,[13][14] including introducing the Jobs, Opportunity and Business Success (JOBS) Act of 2009.[15][16]

Graves was named Legislator of the Year in 2009 by the American Legislative Exchange Council.[17] Later that year, he was awarded the Guardian of Small Business award by the National Federation of Independent Business.[18]

U.S. House of Representatives



In May 2010, Graves won a special election to replace Republican US House Representative Nathan Deal.[19] On June 8, 2010, Graves won the run-off for the special election against former state Senator Lee Hawkins.[20] Graves then faced Hawkins two more times, in another primary election and run off before winning the November 2, 2010 general election unopposed.[21][22] Upon his election, Graves joined the House Republican Whip team,[23] which he later left in 2011.[24] In January 2013, Graves rejoined the Whip team, and is a member as of 2014.[23]


Graves' home in Ranger was drawn into the newly created 14th district—essentially, the northwestern portion of his old district—during the 2012 census. He opted to run for reelection in the newly created district.[25] The 14th was no less Republican than the 9th, and Graves won the November 6, 2012 election against Democratic challenger Daniel "Danny" Grant with 73 percent of the vote.[26]


Graves received 74 percent of the vote in the Republican primary against activist Kenneth Herron.[27] He faced no general election opposition.


Graves received 76 percent of the vote in the Republican primary against perennial candidate Allan Levene and activist Mickey Tuck.[28] He faced no general election opposition.

Graves endorsed Senator Marco Rubio in the 2016 Republican Presidential Primary.[29] In the same statement, Graves snubbed now-President Donald J. Trump: "I have trouble seeing how he lines up with the great tradition of Lincoln and Reagan, and I'm concerned that many of his statements run afoul of the Constitution, my values and my beliefs." [30]


Graves is pro-life and voted in 2011 to limit funding to Planned Parenthood.[31] He stated that he opposes abortion "without exception", including when the mother's life is at stake.[32] In 2013, Graves voted in support of a bill which allowed abortions after 20 weeks post-fertilization if a mother's life is endangered, or if conception occurred through rape or incest.[33] Graves did not receive an endorsement from the Georgia Right to Life PAC in the 2016 primary.[34]

Graves was endorsed by the Atlanta Tea Party in 2010.[35] He authored the Defund Obamacare Act in 2010 and reintroduced the bill in the 112th and 113th Congress.[36]

Conservative Blogger Erick Erickson stated in 2014 that Graves has now become a "judas goat" leading conservatives to the political slaughterhouse: "Graves's rapid support for McCarthy can only be seen as opportunistic," Erickson wrote, adding: "The conservative love affair with Graves was already waning. It is time to just end it. Let's see what he gets for himself by trading the veneer of conservatism."[37]

Graves co-sponsored a balanced-budget amendment in both the 112th and 113th Congresses and supported the Cut, Cap and Balance Act of 2011, which aimed to reduce federal spending and establish caps in future spending.[24] The same year, Graves introduced the HOME Act to allow Americans to make withdrawals from their retirement accounts to pay timely mortgage payments in 2011.[38] He also voted against removing US troops from Afghanistan in March 2011.[39] Graves introduced the Transportation Empowerment Act (TEA) in 2011, meant to lower the federal gas tax to 3.7 cents per gallon and transfer nearly all funding authority to U.S. states over a period of five years.[40] Graves voted in favor of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act in 2013, which funded the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project[41] in its expansion of the Savannah Harbor shipping channel from a depth of −42 feet to −47 feet.[42] He also authored the Email Privacy Act with Representatives Kevin Yoder and Jared Polis.[43] Graves led the national movement to defund the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare") in 2013.[36]

Committee assignments

Graves is a member of the United States House Committee on Appropriations. In 2014, he was selected to serve as chairman of the Subcommittee on the Legislative Branch for the 114th Congress.[44] His membership also includes the subcommittees on Defense and Financial Services and General Government.[45][46]

Caucus memberships

Graves is a member of the House Congressional Chicken Caucus, the House General Aviation Caucus, the Joint Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus, the House Congressional Balanced Budget Amendment Caucus, the House Republican Study Committee[47] and the House Congressional Diabetes Caucus.[48]

Political positions

Economic issues

Tax reform

Graves supports tax reform and voted in favor of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.[49] He called the act "a Christmas present for every American family and business," and believes "Americans will start taking home more of their hard-earned money as soon as February."[50]

Barack Obama

In 2016, Graves called President Barack Obama a "dictator" and said that Obama "exceeded his authority" regarding gun laws.[51]

Social issues


Graves supports banning federal health coverage and any federal funds from funding abortions, including Affordable Care Act insurance coverage. He opposes abortions being used in sex- or race-selection. He opposes funding Planned Parenthood.[52]


Graves has a "B" rating from NORML for his voting history regarding cannabis-related legislation.[53]

Donald Trump


Graves introduced the Active Cyber Defense Certainty Act, "to provide a defense to prosecution for fraud and related activity in connection with computers for persons defending against unauthorized intrusions into their computers, and for other purposes".[54]

Personal life

Graves and his wife Julie, a schoolteacher, have three children, and are active members of Belmont Baptist Church in Calhoun, Georgia.[55]


  1. ^ a b "Tom Graves: Winner". Wall Street Journal. 2012. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
  2. ^ a b Karissa Stewart (27 April 2011). "Ranger's most unlikely politician Tom Graves reflects on his first year in Congress". Northwest Georgia News. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
  3. ^ Aaron Gould Sheinin (August 11, 2011). "Attorney for Graves, Rogers: Bank is at Fault". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Archived from the original on May 30, 2014. Retrieved November 6, 2014.
  4. ^ a b Jeremy Redmon; Aaron Gould Sheinin (August 11, 2011). "Attorneys for Graves, Rogers, bank refuse to disclose settlement details". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved October 6, 2011.[dead link]
  5. ^ Rachel Goff (August 12, 2011). "UPDATE: Lawsuit against Graves dismissed". The Calhoun Times. Archived from the original on April 20, 2012. Retrieved October 7, 2011.
  6. ^ "In failed hotel venture, Ga. Republicans appear to cut loan nearly in half". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. March 27, 2012. Archived from the original on July 7, 2015. Retrieved May 18, 2015.
  7. ^ "GA State House 010". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
  8. ^ "GA State House 012". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
  9. ^ "GA State House 012". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
  10. ^ "GA State House 012". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
  11. ^ "Rep. Graves gets appointment as 'Hawk' in House". Calhoun Times. 27 January 2007. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
  12. ^ Ashe Schow (6 December 2011). "CONGRESSIONAL PROFILE: REP. TOM GRAVES (R-GA)". Congressional Profile. Heritage Action for America. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
  13. ^ "Georgia's political leaders react to SOTU". Atlanta Business Chronicle. 25 January 2010. Retrieved 6 May 2015.
  14. ^ Urvaksh Karkaria (8 February 2010). "Tax credits sought for startups, jobs". Atlanta Business Chronicle. Retrieved 6 May 2015.
  15. ^ "Graves to announce JOBS Act today". The Calhoun Times. 27 January 2010. Retrieved 4 May 2015.
  16. ^ Ashley Speagle (24 January 2010). "Lawmakers to look at boosting jobs". The Times Free Press. Retrieved 4 May 2015.
  17. ^ Chris Kromm (May 1, 2012). "The South's ALEC All-Stars". Facing South. Institute for Southern Studies. Archived from the original on May 18, 2015. Retrieved November 6, 2014.
  18. ^ Jacqueline Bodnar (12 November 2012). "Freedomworks Endorses Tom Graves for Republican Study Committee Chairman". States News Service. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
  19. ^ David Espo (9 June 2010). "Politics; Narrow defeats, stunning victories". Charlestown Gazette. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
  20. ^ "Georgia Election Results". State of Georgia. 8 June 2010. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  21. ^ Danielle Kurtzleben (August 10, 2010). "Graves and Hawkins Face off in Georgia Primary". US News. Archived from the original on April 3, 2015. Retrieved December 8, 2014.
  22. ^ "Election Results". State of Georgia. 2 November 2010. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  23. ^ a b Kristina Peterson (19 June 2014). "Kevin McCarthy Enlists Conservative Graves for Nomination Speech". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  24. ^ a b Marin Cogan; John Bresnahan (17 October 2011). "Tom Graves: A rising house star or big headache?". Retrieved 6 November 2014.
  25. ^ "US Rep. Graves advances in 14th District primary". Associated Press. 31 July 2012. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
  26. ^ "Georgia Congressional District 14 election results". 7 November 2012. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
  27. ^ GA SOS Missing or empty |title= (help)
  28. ^ GA SOS Missing or empty |title= (help)
  29. ^ Graves, Tom. "Campaign Archive".
  30. ^ "Who I voted for". Campaign Archive.
  31. ^ "Inside Congress". February 19, 2011. Archived from the original on November 7, 2014. Retrieved November 11, 2014.
  32. ^ "National Journal".
  33. ^ Jessica Rodgers (18 June 2013). "U.S. House Passes Bill to Protect Unborn in Sixth Month and Later; National Right to Life Commends Seven Georgia Lawmakers". Christian Newswire. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  34. ^ "Endorsements". RTL PAC.
  35. ^ Ralph Reed (9 June 2010). "The Year of the (Conservative) Woman". Faith and Freedom Coalition. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
  36. ^ a b Tim Alberta (5 November 2013). "The Man Behind the Campaign to Defund Obamacare". National Journal. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
  37. ^ Crawford, Tom. "Graves gets comfy with leadership". Gareport. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  38. ^ "SEN. ISAKSON, REP. GRAVES INTRODUCE THE HOME ACT TO HELP AMERICANS KEEP THEIR HOMES" (Press release). US Federal News Service. 7 October 2011. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
  39. ^ "Tom Graves". On The Issues. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
  40. ^ Katherine Rosario (20 February 2014). "TOM GRAVES: TEA ACT MEANS BETTER ROADS WITHOUT RAISING TAXES". Heritage Action for America. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
  41. ^ "Water Resources and Reform Act". 23 August 2014. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
  42. ^ "Savannah Harbor Expansion Project". US Army Corps of Engineers. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  43. ^ "Polis, Yoder Bipartisan Email Privacy Amendment Unanimously Adopted in Committee Amendment Ensures 4th Amendment Protections Cover Emails" (Press release). 18 July 2013. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
  44. ^ Susan Percy (February 2015). "Political notes: February 2015". Georgia Trend. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  45. ^ Daniel Malloy (15 January 2015). "Tom Graves scores spot on defense spending panel". AJC. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  46. ^ "Defense Subcommittee". Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  47. ^ "Member List". Republican Study Committee. Retrieved 21 December 2017.
  48. ^ "US Rep Tom Graves Profile". Voices for Vinyl Legislative Action Center. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved March 12, 2015.
  49. ^ Almukhtar, Sarah (19 December 2017). "How Each House Member Voted on the Tax Bill". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  50. ^ Spigolon, Tom. "West Georgia reps on opposing sides of tax bill's final House vote". West Georgia Neighbor. MDJOnline. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  51. ^ Graves, Tom. "Rep. Tom Graves Statement on Obama Gun Control Efforts". Northwest Georgia News. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  52. ^ "Tom Graves on Abortion". On The Issues. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  53. ^ "Georgia Scorecard". NORML. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  54. ^ "Active Cyber Defense Certainty Act". Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  55. ^ Staff (5 January 2011). "Ten Southern Baptists sworn in as new reps". Baptist Press. Archived from the original on December 26, 2014. Retrieved 25 December 2014.

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Nathan Deal
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 9th congressional district

Succeeded by
Doug Collins
Preceded by
New constituency
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 14th congressional district

Current U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Ted Deutch
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Tom Reed