Meet the Lawmaker: Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R-Tenn.), 3rd District

• Age: 48

• Residence: Ooltewah, Tenn.

• Time in Congress: Four months

• Significant other: Wife, Brenda

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

Rep. Fleischmann: When I was a little boy, I wanted to be a baseball player.

What is your favorite hobby?

Rep. Fleischmann: I’d say cooking. I like to cook when I have the time, and it’s so infrequent anymore. I like to cook lavish meals … For example, for Easter … roast turkey and roast ham, stuffing and all the different side dishes, and it makes people very, very happy. 

I like to cook lasagna. My mother was full-blooded Italian, and before she passed away, my mother’s family had an Italian restaurant when she was growing up for a while, and she cooked there. … She did everything from homemade lasagna to ravioli to pestos; it was really an incredible experience. So I was exposed to all that stuff. On holidays, I like to make lavish feasts for my friends and family.

What do you consider to be your biggest political achievement?

Rep. Fleischmann: So far, I hope I haven’t attained it yet. I’d like to think, like Frank Sinatra, the best is yet to come. But probably it’d be actually getting elected to Congress. I was fortunate enough to prevail in an 11-person primary and then win the general. It was a very, very difficult political battle in which many people didn’t give us a chance. I ran as an outsider and was fortunate enough to prevail.

What is something you’re passionate about?

Rep. Fleischmann: I’m passionate about sports. I like baseball, football, ice hockey, golf, fishing.

And in the political realm, I’m passionate about fiscal responsibility.

What’s your favorite place in the world?

Rep. Fleischmann: I’d have to say Chattanooga, Tenn., I think, because I came to Chattanooga from Knoxville in 1986 with a law degree. My wife was from here; I wasn’t from Chattanooga. We raised our family here, our three sons here. I’ve lived all over the country as a child — I’ve lived in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Champaign, Ill., Knoxville — and Chattanooga’s probably the place that embraced me more than any other place I lived. 

What’s your least favorite household chore?

Rep. Fleischmann: Dusting. It gives me sinus infections.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Rep. Fleischmann: Overindulging in desserts. That’s where I have to be very careful. If I’m at a political dinner and someone hasn’t eaten their dessert, I might have a bite of theirs, too. I’m working on it.