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Hotline Sort: Two Years In Tennessee Hotline Sort: Two Years In Tennessee

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Hotline Sort: Two Years In Tennessee

photo of Julie Sobel
December 12, 2012

Let's state the facts: Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn., will get a primary challenge in 2014.

The second-term Republican won re-election this year even after revelations late in the campaign that he'd had an affair with a patient and pressured her to get an abortion. Post-election, even more abortion and affair-related information came out from his divorce proceedings. There's no sign DesJarlais will resign his seat, but here's who he should watch out for over the next two years:

-- State Sen. Jim Tracy: One Tennessee Republican pegged Tracy as a frontrunner if he decided to run. He represents part of Rutherford County, the district's population base, and has proven he can raise money. Tracy was reportedly meeting with donors even before the November election about a potential 2014 bid.

-- State Rep. Joe Carr: Carr doesn't start out with as large a base as Tracy but also represents part of Rutherford County. He also has some proven fundraising ability, and his PAC puts on an annual event, "T-bones and Politics," which has attracted some big-name guests (Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker keynoted the most recent one, this fall). Carr has said he's undecided on a run.

-- Assistant Tennessee House Majority Leader Kevin Brooks: Brooks has said he has been encouraged to run, and is exploring a campaign. unlike the previous two state legislators mentioned, doesn't represent Rutherford County -- he's out in Bradley County, still in the district but not by the population center. He likely wouldn't be able to raise as much as Tracy or Carr.

-- Former Cracker Barrel executive Forrest Shoaf: In 2002, Shoaf ran in the state's 7th District, losing to Marsha Blackburn in the primary. He would start with low name ID, but a likely ability to raise money. Shoaf has said that for the 2014 election, Republicans "need a candidate who is not damaged." (There is also a "Draft Forrest Shoaf" twitter account).

-- Weston Wamp: Wamp (the son of former Rep. Zach Wamp) ran unsuccessfully in the GOP primary in the state's 3rd District this year -- he doesn't live in the district, but that's not necessary to run there. Wamp has weighed in on DesJarlais, saying in November that the congressman had "clearly mislead voters" during the last campaign; and said that he wouldn't rule out a run.

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