Weston Wamp Joins Growing List of Potential DesJarlais Challengers

Weston Wamp, who lives in Hamilton County in the 3rd Congressional District though within sight of Marion County in the 4th Congressional District, and that figures into the possibility of him challenging U.S. Rep. Scott Desjarlais, reports Chris Carroll.
The geography isn’t lost on Wamp as DesJarlais attempts to overcome a scandal that demolished his image as an anti-abortion, family-values doctor. Four days after calling DesJarlais “kind of a creepy guy” on a Chattanooga television show, Wamp said he’s weighing a 4th District Republican primary challenge.
“It’s incredibly early,” said Wamp, 25, in a Wednesday interview. “If anything, this is on the backburner. But I won’t rule anything out. I live a lot closer to most of the 4th District than I do the 3rd District.”
The son of former Congressman Zach Wamp unsuccessfully challenged his father’s immediate successor, U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, in this year’s 3rd District Republican primary.
A public relations strategist at the Lamp Post Group in Chattanooga, Wamp joins a host of potential DesJarlais opponents.

Meanwhile, here’s the Tennessee Journal list of prospective DesJarlais challengers:
● State Sen. Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville), whose base includes part of Rutherford County, the largest in the 4th District. Tracy finished a close third in the 2010 6th District primary before redistricting put him in the 4th.
State Rep. Kevin Brooks (R-Cleveland), a public relations and conference manager at the Church of God headquarters in Cleveland. Although not all of Bradley County is in the district, the heavily Republican county produces the second largest vote total.
● State Rep. Joe Carr (R-Murfreesboro), who insists it’s way too early to ponder a race but acknowledges he is “thinking about thinking about it” later on.
● Forrest Shoaf, a retired Cracker Barrel executive who in 2002 finished a distant fifth in the open 7th District Republican primary, which was won by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Brentwood). Shoaf, a West Point graduate with a Harvard law degree, currently resides in Lebanon, which is not in the 4th District, but he is planning to move to Bedford County, whether he decides to pursue the congressional seat or not.
● Shane Reeves, a Rutherford County pharmacy company executive whose name often pops up in political speculation. He is a friend of both Tracy and Carr.
In 2010, DesJarlais defeated Franklin Republican Jack Bailey for the 4th District nomination. Then, riding both an anti-Obama wave and the coattails of Republican gubernatorial victor Haslam, he upset incumbent Democrat Lincoln Davis (D-Pall Mall).

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