Politics

Tennessee: State Senator Announces Bid Against DesJarlais

DesJarlais has taken a series of political hits over the past few months stemming from revelations from a more-than-decade-old divorce. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

For embattled Rep. Scott DesJarlais, the political fight of his life begins today.

Tennessee Republican state Sen. Jim Tracy announced a bid for Congress in Tennessee's 4th District on Wednesday morning, becoming the first contender — potentially of many — to get in the race against the vulnerable member, who represents conservative territory.

DesJarlais has taken a series of political hits over the past few months stemming from revelations from a more-than-decade-old divorce. The Chattanooga Times Free Press reported the Tennessee congressman and doctor had "sexual relationships with at least two patients, three coworkers and a drug representative while he was chief of staff at Grandview Medical Center in Jasper, Tenn."

In his announcement, Tracy emphasized his conservative bona fides and made a not-so-subtle comparison with the congressman.

"I am running for Congress because our government is broken — morally and financially," Tracy said in a statement. "I am a conservative in word and deed. I have lived my life both personally and professionally in a way that is consistent with my core conservative values."

Tennessee state Rep. Joe Carr is also exploring a primary bid against DesJarlais. Republican state Rep. Kevin Brooks told CQ Roll Call last year that he was the considering the seat, too.