Tim Burchett
Official portrait, 2019
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Tennessee's 2nd district
Assumed office
January 3, 2019
Preceded byJimmy Duncan
Mayor of Knox County
In office
September 1, 2010 – September 1, 2018
Preceded byMike Ragsdale
Succeeded byGlenn Jacobs
Member of the Tennessee Senate
from the 7th district
In office
January 12, 1999 – September 1, 2010
Preceded byBud Gilbert
Succeeded byStacey Campfield
Member of the Tennessee House of Representatives
from the 18th district
In office
January 10, 1995 – January 12, 1999
Preceded byMaria Peroulas Draper[1]
Succeeded bySteven Buttry[2]
Personal details
Timothy Floyd Burchett

(1964-08-25) August 25, 1964 (age 59)
Knoxville, Tennessee, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Allison Beaver
(m. 2008; div. 2012)
Kelly Kimball
(m. 2014)
EducationUniversity of Tennessee (BS)
WebsiteHouse website

Timothy Floyd Burchett (born August 25, 1964) is an American politician who is the U.S. representative for Tennessee's 2nd congressional district, based in Knoxville, serving since 2019.

A Republican, Burchett was formerly mayor of Knox County, Tennessee. He served in the Tennessee General Assembly, first in the Tennessee House of Representatives, in which he represented Tennessee's 18th district.[3] He later served in the Tennessee State Senate, representing the 7th district, part of Knox County.

Early life and education

Burchett is a native of Knoxville, Tennessee, where he was born in 1964. He attended West Hills Elementary School, Bearden Junior High School, and Bearden High School.[4][5] After graduating from Bearden High School in 1981, he enrolled in the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in education.[4][5] He is a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity.

Tennessee General Assembly

Burchett's first election to public office was in 1994, when he won a seat in the Tennessee House of Representatives. He served in the House for two two-year terms, from 1995 to 1998.[6][7] In 1998, he won a four-year term in the Tennessee State Senate, representing the 7th district. He succeeded Clyde Coulter "Bud" Gilbert.[8] He was reelected twice, serving a total of three four-year terms, from 1999 to 2010.[4][5]

In 2006, while a state senator, Burchett failed to report six political action committee checks totaling $3,300. The Registry of Election Finance did not fine him.[9] In 2008, while still a state senator, he was fined $250 for failing to disclose three PAC contributions that totaled $1,500.[9]

In 1999, Burchett received national media attention for sponsoring a bill to legalize the eating of roadkill, wild animals killed by vehicles, before notifying the county game warden.[10][11] He defended the proposal as a "common-sense thing" intended to prevent edible meat from being wasted. Eating roadkill was already legal – as it is in most places – but required prior notification of the county game warden. Burchett's bill allowed processing and consumption of roadkill before notifying the warden. Burchett proposed the bill after being contacted by a constituent who had been penalized for giving a needy family the meat from a deer his vehicle had accidentally hit.[11]

See also: Legal status of Salvia divinorum

Burchett sponsored a bill in 2006 to make illegal "possessing, producing, manufacturing, distributing, or possessing with intent to produce, manufacture, or distribute the active chemical ingredient in the hallucinogenic plant Salvia divinorum in the state of Tennessee."[12] He said, "We have enough problems with illegal drugs as it is without people promoting getting high from some glorified weed that's been brought up from Mexico. The only people I’ve heard from who are opposed to making it illegal are those who are getting stoned on it."[13] The bill was signed into law on May 19, 2006, and went into effect on July 1, 2006.[12] Burchett originally wanted to make violations a felony offense, but the bill was amended during its passage to make it a Class A misdemeanor.[14]

In a news report published shortly before the signing of the bill by Governor Phil Bredesen, Burchett was quoted as saying, "it's not that popular but I'm one of those who believes in closing the barn door before the cows get out.... in certain hands, it could be very dangerous, even lethal."[15] A store owner who had stopped selling the herb due to Burchett's bill said that he saw little point in banning salvia, "I have no idea why it's being outlawed. It's a sage. People in South America have been using it for years and years." The same report also gave the general counterargument of salvia proponents that legislation banning Salvia divinorum reflects a cultural bias, as there are fewer prohibitions on more addictive substances such as alcohol and nicotine, and questioned how effective the bill will be, pointing out that Salvia divinorum has no odor and is easy to grow, so enforcement will be difficult.[15]

Knox County mayor

Burchett speaking at the 2012 community budget hearings

Burchett became Knox County mayor in September 2010, succeeding Mike Ragsdale, who left office due to term limits. Burchett defeated former Knox County Sheriff Tim Hutchison in the Republican primary and Democratic nominee Ezra Maize in the general election.[16][17]

On February 10, 2012, Burchett appeared on WBIR-TV and officially announced that the county's first "cash mob" would be held at the Emery's 5 & 10 store in South Knoxville.[18] The cash mob gained national attention,[19] and was mentioned in Time magazine.[20]

In 2012, Tennessee's Registry of Election Finance unanimously decided to take no action against Burchett regarding an inquiry into his campaign disclosure forms.[21]

U.S. House of Representatives



See also: United States House of Representatives elections in Tennessee, 2018 § District 2

When 30-year incumbent Jimmy Duncan announced his retirement in July 2017, Burchett entered a crowded seven-way Republican primary to succeed him. He defeated his nearest challenger, state representative Jimmy Matlock, by just under 12 percentage points. He faced Democratic nominee Renee Hoyos in the November general election. The 2nd has long been a Republican stronghold. With a Cook Partisan Voting Index of R+20, it is one of the nation's most Republican districts, and tied for the third-most Republican district in Tennessee. It is one of the few ancestrally Republican districts in the South; the GOP and its predecessors have held it without interruption since 1859. For this reason, the Republican primary has long been reckoned as the real contest in this district. Democrats have not made a substantive bid for the seat since 1964, and have received as much as 40% of the vote only twice since then.

As expected, Burchett won the general election in a rout, taking 65.9% of the vote to Hoyos's 33.1%.[22] When he took office in January 2019, Burchett became only the seventh person (not counting caretakers) to represent the 2nd since 1909. This district gives its representatives very long tenures in Washington; all six of Burchett's predecessors held the seat for at least 10 years, with three of them serving at least 20 years. He also ended a 54-year hold on the district by the Duncan family. John Duncan Sr. won the seat in 1964, and was succeeded upon his death in 1988 by his son, Jimmy.

In February 2018 the Knoxville News Sentinel reported that Burchett had failed to report a $10,000 payment from a solar electric company on his campaign finance forms and various financial disclosure forms. The story reported that two months earlier the FBI had questioned people about Burchett committing income tax evasion.[23] After the story broke, Burchett gave a statement to WBIR that he was correcting errors in his campaign financial disclosures and income tax forms, describing his failure to report all income as an "oversight".[24]


See also: United States House of Representatives elections in Tennessee, 2020 § District 2

Burchett was reelected in 2020 with 67.6% of the vote, defeating Democrat Renee Hoyos.[25]


Texas v. Pennsylvania

In December 2020, Burchett was one of 126 Republican members of the House of Representatives to sign an amicus brief in support of Texas v. Pennsylvania, a lawsuit filed at the United States Supreme Court contesting the results of the 2020 presidential election, in which Joe Biden defeated[26] incumbent Donald Trump. The Supreme Court declined to hear the case on the basis that Texas lacked standing under Article III of the Constitution to challenge the results of an election held by another state.[27][28][29]


In June 2021, Burchett was one of 49 House Republicans to vote to repeal the AUMF against Iraq.[30][31]


Burchett voted against the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020 which authorizes DHS to nearly double the available H-2B visas for the remainder of FY 2020.[32][33]

Burchett voted against the Consolidated Appropriations Act (H.R. 1158),[34] which effectively prohibits Immigration and Customs Enforcement from cooperating with the Department of Health and Human Services to detain or remove illegal alien sponsors of Unaccompanied Alien Children.[citation needed]

2023 U.S. House Speaker election

During the 118th Congressional Speakership Election, Representative Matt Gaetz and a handful of other representatives were holdouts in voting for Rep. Kevin McCarthy for Speakership. While people claimed that after Burchett walked over and whispered into Gaetz's ear, Gaetz and others abstained, giving a majority to McCarthy for Speaker, Gaetz had in fact begun abstaining before this conversation.[35]


Burchett voted to provide Israel with support following 2023 Hamas attack on Israel.[36][37]


Following a report published by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence on January 12, 2023, Burchett expressed his views about an alleged government coverup of the nature of UFOs, saying, "we've been covering this up since the '40s" and that he doesn't "trust [the] government, [and] there's an arrogance about it, and I think the American public can handle it."[38]

On March 7, 2023, Burchett expanded on these claims, saying that UFO technology is possibly "being reverse-engineered right now" but we "don't understand" how it functions. He maintains that the U.S. has "recovered a craft at some point, and possible beings".[39]


In 2023, Burchett was among 47 Republicans to vote in favor of H.Con.Res. 21, which directed President Joe Biden to remove U.S. troops from Syria within 180 days.[40][41]

Tennessee school shooting response

On March 28, 2023, Burchett responded to the Covenant School shooting, where three nine-year-old students and three staff members were killed in Nashville, by telling reporters: "It's a horrible, horrible situation, and we're not going to fix it. Criminals are gonna be criminals. And my daddy fought in the second world war, fought in the Pacific, fought the Japanese, and he told me, he said, 'Buddy,' he said, 'if somebody wants to take you out, and doesn't mind losing their life, there's not a whole heck of a lot you can do about it.'" Burchett also said he sees no "real role" for Congress in reducing gun violence, other than to "mess things up".[42]

Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023

Burchett was among the 71 Republicans who voted against final passage of the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023 in the House.[43]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

Electoral history

Republican primary results, 2018
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Tim Burchett 47,914 48.2
Republican Jimmy Matlock 35,845 36.1
Republican Sarah Ashley Nickloes 10,955 11.0
Republican Jason Emert 2,274 2.3
Republican Hank Hamblin 855 0.9
Republican Vito Sagliano 844 0.8
Republican C. David Stansberry 656 0.7
Total votes 99,343 100.0
Tennessee's 2nd congressional district, 2018
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Tim Burchett 172,856 65.9
Democratic Renee Hoyos 86,668 33.1
Independent Greg Samples 967 0.4
Independent Jeffrey Grunau 657 0.3
Independent Marc Whitmire 637 0.2
Independent Keith LaTorre 349 0.1
Total votes 262,134 100.0
Republican hold
Republican primary results, 2020[48]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Tim Burchett (incumbent) 78,990 100.0
Total votes 78,990 100.0
Tennessee's 2nd congressional district, 2020
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Tim Burchett (incumbent) 238,907 67.6
Democratic Renee Hoyos 109,684 31.1
Independent Matthew Campbell 4,592 1.3
Write-in 14 0.0
Total votes 353,197 100.0
Republican hold
Republican primary results, 2022[49]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Tim Burchett (incumbent) 56,880 100.0
Total votes 56,880 100.0
2022 Tennessee's 2nd Congressional District General Election[50]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Tim Burchett (incumbent) 141,089 67.91%
Democratic Mark Harmon 66,673 32.09%
Total votes 207,762 100.0%
Republican hold

Personal life

In June 2008, Burchett married Allison Beaver in an impromptu ceremony conducted by Tennessee governor Phil Bredesen.[51][52] In April 2012, Beaver filed for divorce, citing "irreconcilable differences".[53] The divorce was finalized later that year.[54] In 2014, Burchett married Kelly Kimball. He later became a legal guardian to Kimball's daughter,[55] who is homeschooled.[56]

Burchett is a Presbyterian.[57][58]


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  2. ^ Pinkston, Will (November 4, 1998). "Democrats keep state Senate despite ad blitz". The Tennessean. p. 16A. Retrieved January 30, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  3. ^ "Tennessee House Members 99th GA". www.capitol.tn.gov. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
  4. ^ a b c "Tennessee Senate: Tim Burchett". Tennessee Senate: 105th General Assembly (2007–2008) (website archives). Retrieved April 17, 2013.
  5. ^ a b c "Mayor Tim Burchett Bio". Archived from the original on May 7, 2012. Retrieved April 17, 2013.
  6. ^ "Tennessee House Members 99th GA". house.tn.gov. Retrieved July 14, 2021.
  7. ^ "Tennessee House Members 100th GA". house.tn.gov. Retrieved July 14, 2021.
  8. ^ "Our Campaigns – TN Senate 07 Race – Nov 03, 1998". www.ourcampaigns.com. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
  9. ^ a b Ebert, Joel; Boucher, Dave (December 1, 2017). "Sources: FBI asks questions about Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett; mayor says 'no truth to any of it'". Knoxville News Sentinel. Archived from the original on August 14, 2018. Retrieved August 5, 2018.
  10. ^ Barker, Scott; Keim, David (August 20, 2008). "Burchett plans to run for county mayor". Knoxville News Sentinel. Archived from the original on January 27, 2013.
  11. ^ a b Firestone, David (March 14, 1999). "Statehouse Journal; A Road-Kill Proposal Is Food for Jokesters". The New York Times. Archived from the original on March 25, 2019.
  12. ^ a b "Senate Bill No. 3247; An Act to amend Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 39, Chapter 17, Part 4, relative to certain hallucinogenic plants" (PDF). Public Acts 2006, Chapter 700. General Assembly of the State of Tennessee. May 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 4, 2007.
  13. ^ Nashville Bureau Reporter (April 2006). "The Senate passed (290–0) SB 3247". 8 (32). Nashville Bureau. ((cite journal)): Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  14. ^ Siebert, Daniel. "The Legal Status of Salvia divinorum". The Salvia divinorum Research and Information Center. Retrieved March 4, 2007.
  15. ^ a b O'Rourke, Shea (May 24, 2006). "Smoking Out – Tennessee bill bans hallucinogenic herb salvia". Memphis Flyer. Archived from the original on June 14, 2011. Retrieved September 9, 2008.
  16. ^ Donila, Mike (August 6, 2010). "Burchett: 'Precise plan' needed for mayor post". Knoxville News Sentinel. Archived from the original on October 10, 2012.
  17. ^ Donila, Mike (September 4, 2011). "One year in, Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett says he delivered". Knoxville News Sentinel. Archived from the original on February 27, 2014.
  18. ^ "Cash Mob underway at Emery's 5 & 10". WBIR-TV. February 10, 2012. Archived from the original on February 2, 2014.
  19. ^ "'Cash mobs': Flash mobs go to bat for small local businesses". NBC News. February 14, 2012. Archived from the original on December 26, 2013. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
  20. ^ "Knox County's Cash Mob gets a nod in TIME Magazine". WATE-TV. October 29, 2012. Archived from the original on February 19, 2014.
  21. ^ Donila, Mike (October 23, 2012). "State board takes no action against Mayor Tim Burchett over campaign disclosure forms". Knoxville News Sentinel. Archived from the original on February 1, 2020.
  22. ^ Tennessee House results from CNN
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  24. ^ "Knox Co. Mayor calls tax mistake an 'oversight'". WBIR-TV. February 12, 2018. Retrieved February 10, 2018.
  25. ^ Whetstone, Tyler. "Run it again: Tim Burchett wins re-election, back to D.C." Knoxville News Sentinel. Retrieved August 13, 2022.
  26. ^ Blood, Michael R.; Riccardi, Nicholas (December 5, 2020). "Biden officially secures enough electors to become president". Associated Press. Archived from the original on December 8, 2020. Retrieved December 12, 2020.
  27. ^ Liptak, Adam (December 11, 2020). "Supreme Court Rejects Texas Suit Seeking to Subvert Election". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on December 11, 2020. Retrieved December 12, 2020.
  28. ^ "Order in Pending Case" (PDF). Supreme Court of the United States. December 11, 2020. Archived (PDF) from the original on December 11, 2020. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
  29. ^ Diaz, Daniella (December 11, 2020). "Brief from 126 Republicans supporting Texas lawsuit in Supreme Court". CNN. Archived from the original on December 12, 2020. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
  30. ^ Shabad, Rebecca (June 17, 2021). "House votes to repeal 2002 Iraq War authorization". NBC News.
  31. ^ "FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 172". Office of the Clerk. June 17, 2021. Retrieved October 9, 2023.
  32. ^ "Text - H.R.1865 - 116th Congress (2019-2020): Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 | Congress.gov | Library of Congress". Congress.gov. Retrieved March 23, 2022.
  33. ^ "Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives". clerk.house.gov. December 17, 2019.
  34. ^ "H.R. 1158: DHS Cyber Hunt and Incident Response Teams Act … -- House Vote #690 -- Dec 17, 2019".
  35. ^ Norton, Tom (January 9, 2023). "Fact Check: Did Matt Gaetz vote for McCarthy after chat with mystery man?". Newsweek. Retrieved May 26, 2023.
  36. ^ Demirjian, Karoun (October 25, 2023). "House Declares Solidarity With Israel in First Legislation Under New Speaker". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 30, 2023.
  37. ^ Washington, U. S. Capitol Room H154; p:225-7000, DC 20515-6601 (October 25, 2023). "Roll Call 528 Roll Call 528, Bill Number: H. Res. 771, 118th Congress, 1st Session". Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives. Retrieved October 30, 2023.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  38. ^ Ellie, Cook (January 16, 2023). "Tennessee Congressman Alleges 'Huge' UFO Cover-Up in U.S. Government". Newsweek. Retrieved March 10, 2023.
  39. ^ "UFO tech is 'secretly reverse-engineering', says Tennessee Congressman". Marca. March 8, 2023. Retrieved March 10, 2023.
  40. ^ "H.Con.Res. 21: Directing the President, pursuant to section 5(c) of … -- House Vote #136 -- Mar 8, 2023".
  41. ^ "House Votes Down Bill Directing Removal of Troops From Syria". Associated Press. March 8, 2023.
  42. ^ Wong, Julia Carrie (March 28, 2023). "Republican congressman says 'we're not going to fix' school shootings". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved May 8, 2023.
  43. ^ Gans, Jared (May 31, 2023). "Republicans and Democrats who bucked party leaders by voting no". The Hill. Retrieved June 6, 2023.
  44. ^ "The Voter's Self Defense System". Vote Smart. Retrieved September 26, 2019.
  45. ^ "Membership | The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure". transportation.house.gov. Archived from the original on September 27, 2021. Retrieved February 3, 2021.
  46. ^ "U.S. Rep. Burchett to Welcome OHCE Attendees | ARV". www.arvc.org. Retrieved September 26, 2019.
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  52. ^ "Sen. Tim Burchett ties the knot, Gov. Bredesen officiates". WATE-TV. June 17, 2008. Archived from the original on February 20, 2014.
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  57. ^ Religious affiliation of members of 118th Congress PEW Research Center
  58. ^ Tim Burchett Biographyvotesmart.org
Tennessee House of Representatives Preceded byMaria Peroulas Draper Member of the Tennessee House of Representativesfrom the 18th district 1995–1998 Succeeded bySteven Buttry Tennessee Senate Preceded byBud Gilbert Member of the Tennessee Senatefrom the 7th district 1999–2010 Succeeded byStacey Campfield Political offices Preceded byMike Ragsdale Mayor of Knox County 2010–2018 Succeeded byGlenn Jacobs U.S. House of Representatives Preceded byJimmy Duncan Member of the U.S. House of Representativesfrom Tennessee's 2nd congressional district 2019–present Incumbent U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial) Preceded byJim Baird United States representatives by seniority 235th Succeeded bySean Casten