Embattled Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn., has his first official primary opponent.
State Sen. Jim Tracy, who in 2010 very narrowly lost an open-seat primary to now-Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., launched his campaign, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reports, saying that DesJarlais “has betrayed and deceived his constituents.”
DesJarlais, a doctor elected as a social conservative, has faced scrutiny since October revelations that he had an affair with a patient and urged her to get an abortion. Though he won reelection in his strongly GOP district, after the election additional information came out from his 2001 divorce proceedings -- more affairs (including with patients), and support for his wife getting abortions prior to their marriage.
“A chance in leadership is a must,” Tracy said, per the Times Free Press. The nation's problems “are too great to have our leaders preoccupied with their own personal scandals.” Tracy represents part of the district's population base, Rutherford County, and has shown he has fundraising abilities.
State Rep. Joe Carr, another potential DesJarlais challenger, announced in late December he had formed an exploratory committee.