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John Calvin Fleming, Jr.

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Louisiana's 4th district
Assumed office 
January 3, 2009
Preceded by Jim McCrery

Born July 5, 1951 (age 57)
Meridian, Mississippi
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Cindy Fleming
Residence Minden, Louisiana
Alma mater University of Mississippi (Ole Miss)
Occupation Physician, Businessman, United States Navy
Religion Southern Baptist

John Calvin Fleming, Jr. (born July 5, 1951) is a Minden, Louisiana physician, the author of the book Preventing Addiction, and the Republican U.S. representative from Louisiana's 4th congressional district. Fleming defeated Democratic nominee Paul Carmouche in the 2008 election by a margin of only 356 votes. [1] He is a cousin to Henry Clay 1777-1852, former Speaker of the House and "The Great Compromiser," through his grandmother, Mary Pauline CLAY Giles.

Fleming is the first U.S. representative from Minden since 1937, when John N. Sandlin vacated the seat, having lost a contested primary for the United States Senate to Allen J. Ellender of Houma, the seat of Terrebonne Parish in south Louisiana.[2] Fleming is only the second Republican to hold the seat since Reconstruction. Republicans first seriously contested the seat in a special election in 1961, when their nominee, Shreveport oilman Charlton Lyons, polled 46 percent of the vote against the successful Democrat, Joe D. Waggonner, Jr., of Plain Dealing in northern Bossier Parish.



Fleming was born in Meridian, the seat of Lauderdale County in eastern Mississippi. He attended college at the University of Mississippi in Oxford and medical school in Jackson. He entered the United States Navy to help fund his medical education.[3] He was awarded his B.S. degreee in 1973 and M.D. degree in 1976.

Fleming and his wife, Cindy, who have been married since 1978, have four children.[4 ]

Medical career

After earning his medical degree, Fleming acted as chief resident in family medicine at the Naval Regional Medical Center in Camp Pendleton, California. He also trained at the drug and alcohol treatment unit at the Navy Regional Medical Center in Long Beach.[4 ] Serving in the Navy after his residency, Fleming practiced military family medicine on the island of Guam. There from 1979 to 1981, he was the director of drug and alcohol treatment and chairman of the Navy’s Family Advocacy Committee. Thereafter, he performed similar duties in Charleston, South Carolina.[4 ]

After leaving the Navy, Fleming established a private practice in 1982 in Minden. His family practice emphasizes the treatment of depression, attention span disorder, and the prevention of chronic disease.<According to Fleming March 6, 2009> He is certified by the American Board of Family Practice[4 ] and is on the staff at the Minden Medical Center.[5] Fleming is a member of the Louisiana Academy of Family Physicians (LAFP). In 2007, he was chosen as the LAFP "Louisiana Family Practice Physician of the Year."[4 ] After years of training Fleming has attained the rank of Sandan (third degree) black belt in Shotokan Karate recognized by the Japan Karate Association which stretches throughout the world.

Fleming is the author of the 2006 book Preventing Addiction: What Parents Must Know to Immunize Their Kids Against Drug and Alcohol Addiction, which is aimed at assisting parents in keeping their children from potential chemical dependency.[6][7 ] He has appeared on numerous national broadcast programs to promote his book.[4 ]

Fleming is also a businessman; he owns 30 Subway sandwich shops in northern Louisiana[8][9 ] and owns Fleming Expansions, LLC, a regional developer for The UPS Store, which supports stores in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.[8] See also "Trivia" section infra.

Political activities and 2008 candidacy

On October 21, 1995, Republican Fleming was elected as coroner of traditionally Democratic Webster Parish (2000 population: 41,831),[10], having defeated the no-party candidate, Dr. Carlos A. Irizarry, 7,842 (60.6 percent) to 5,143 (39.6 percent). He succeeded Dr. Carl A. Hines, a Minden Democrat who did not seek reelection.[11 ][12 ]

Fleming entered the race to become the Republican nominee for the District 4 House seat after McCrery announced retirement. He received political support from the LAFP and the American Academy of Family Physicians' (AAFP) political action committee for his campaign.[13]

Fleming is a supporter of the FairTax,[8] which would replace the income tax with a sales tax rate, as defined in the legislation, of 23 percent of the total payment, equivalent to a 30 percent traditional U.S. sales tax ($23 on top of every $77 spent before taxes.)[14]

The primary and subsequent runoff election were delayed because of the aftermath of Hurricane Gustav.[15][16] In the October 4, 2008, Republican closed primary, Fleming ran against Jeff Thompson of Shreveport (McCrery's choice), and Chris Gorman (a trucking executive). In a close election, no candidate received a majority of the votes. Fleming led with 14,500 votes (35.1 percent), followed by Gorman with 14,072 votes (34.1 percent), and Thompson with 12,693 votes (30.8 percent).[17 ] This set up a primary runoff between Fleming and Gorman which was held on November 4, along with the national presidential election.

In the runoff, Fleming defeated Gorman, 43,012 votes (55.6 percent) to 34,405 (44.4 percent) and carried all but one of the thirteen parishes in the district. On November 4, the total Republican vote for District 4 Representative was 72,754 ballots below the total cast on the Democratic side (150,171), where Carmouche won easily over Willie Banks, Jr., an African American attorney, 93,093 (62 percent) to 57,078 (38 percent).[18 ]

In the 2006 race against McCrery, "Catfish" Kelley ran as a Republican and drew 12 percent of the vote under the still existing jungle primary format.[19 ] In 2008, his 3 percent was far more than the margin between Fleming and Carmouche. A plurality is sufficient to win the general election—which, along with the District 2 race, were the last congressional races in the nation in 2008.[16]

Outgoing Vice President of the United States Dick Cheney appeared in Shreveport on November 21 to speak at a fundraiser for Fleming.[20 ] indicated that McCrery supports Fleming but had made no official endorsement and had not appeared at any of Fleming's campaign events.[9 ] On December 2, McCrery spoke on Fleming's behalf in an appearance on the Moon Griffon radio program, which is syndicated in most Louisiana media markets. He used the argument that Carmouche, if successful, would cast his first vote for Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California.[21]

Carmouche led in the count most of the evening, but Bossier Parish, considered the most Republican-oriented in the district (2nd most in the state after St. Tammany Parish), erased an earlier 2,000 vote lead for Carmouche and gave Fleming a district-wide margin of 356 votes. Carmouche won Caddo Parish, 22,742-15,510, but Fleming lost his own Webster Parish, 3,790 to 3,622. Bossier Parish gave Fleming 9,311 votes to Carmouche's 5,301 ballots. Fleming also won in traditionally Democratic Natchitoches and Claiborne parishes.[1] Fleming succeeds Republican James Otis "Jim" McCrery, Jr., a 21-year incumbent who did not seek reelection.

On December 10, 2008, Paul Carmouche formally conceded the election to Fleming. [22]

Committee Assignments

Political consultant Lee Fletcher managed Fleming's campaign for Congress and served for the first few months in the term as Fleming's chief of staff. However, cancer struck Fletcher, who died at the age of forty-three on September 30, 2009. Fletcher previously was the chief of staff to former 5th Congressional District U.S. Representative John Cooksey of Monroe. In 2002, Fletcher himself narrowly lost the 5th District congressional race to Rodney Alexander of Jackson Parish, then a Democrat who subsequently switched parties in August 2004.


  1. ^ a b Louisiana Secretary of State, Election returns, December 6, 2008:
  2. ^ Biographical Guide to the U.S. Congress, John N. Sandlin:
  3. ^ Gannon, Patricia (September 2007). "Physician Spotlight: John C. Fleming". Retrieved November 22, 2008.  
  4. ^ a b c d e f Brown, Ida (June 27, 2007). "Meridian native named Family Doctor of Year". The Meridian Star. Retrieved November 22, 2008.  
  5. ^ "Physicians". Minden Medical Center. Retrieved November 23, 2008.  
  6. ^ Fleming, John C. (2006). Preventing Addiction: What Parents Must Know to Immunize Their Kids Against Drug and Alcohol Addiction. Hannibal Books. ISBN 0929292456.  
  7. ^ Fleming, John C. Interview with David Van Nuys. An Interview with John C. Fleming MD on Preventing Addictions (Podcast). The Wise Counsel Podcast: Audio interviews on topics in Mental Health, Wellness and Psychotherapy. July 18, 2007. Retrieved on 2008-11-21.
  8. ^ a b c "Minden's Fleming running for Congress". Minden Press-Herald: p. 1. January 18, 2008. Retrieved November 24, 2008.  
  9. ^ a b Kraushaar, Josh (November 11, 2008). "GOP fights to hold onto Louisiana seat". p. 2.  
  10. ^ United States Census Bureau. "Webster Parish Quickfacts". Retrieved 2008-02-02.  
  11. ^ "Results for Election Date: 10/21/95 — Parish of Webster". Official Parish Election Results. Louisiana Secretary of State.  
  12. ^ Kraushaar, Josh (November 11, 2008). "GOP fights to hold onto Louisiana seat". Politico. Retrieved November 22, 2008.  
  13. ^ Submitted by Fleming for Congress. "Kohn Fleming, MD, Wins the Republican Nomination for 4th Congressional District". Louisiana Academy of Family Physicians. Retrieved November 22, 2008. "On Friday, October 31, Dr. Roberts, LAFP Past President, presented Dr. Fleming with a check from FamMedPac, the AAFP's Political Action Committee. 'We were honored to receive another check from FamMedPac. I have received lots of support from fellow physicians, and I want to sincerely thank each one who has helped my campaign.'"  
  14. ^ Regnier, Pat (September 7, 2005). "Just how fair is the FairTax?". Money Magazine. Retrieved September 24, 2008.  
  15. ^ "Outstanding House Races". MSNBC. November 19, 2008. Retrieved November 24, 2008.  
  16. ^ a b "Still Some Undecided Races, But Obama Gets Electoral Grace Note in Nebraska". CQ Politics. November 11, 2008. Retrieved November 24, 2008.  
  17. ^ "Results for Election Date: 10/04/08,". Official Election Results. Louisiana Secretary of State.  
  18. ^ "Results for Election Date: 11/04/08" (See primary returns for Fourth Congressional District). Official Election Results. Louisiana Secretary of State.  
  19. ^ "Results for Election Date: 11/07/06". Official Election Results. Louisiana Secretary of State.  
  20. ^ Prine, John Andrew (November 22, 2008). "Cheney boosts Fleming's campaign". Shreveport Times. Retrieved November 22, 2008.  
  21. ^ The Moon Griffon Show, syndicated radio program, December 2, 2008
  22. ^ Kraushaar, Josh (December 10, 2008). "Carmouche concedes to Fleming". Politico. Retrieved December 11, 2008.  

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Jim McCrery
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Louisiana's 4th congressional district

January 3, 2009 – present


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