Jim Tracy Announces as Candidate for 4th Congressional District

State Sen. Jim Tracy, 56, of Shelbyville, plans formally to declare his candidacy for the 4th District Congressional seat now held by U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais today in Murfreesboro, reports Andy Sher.
In a statement, Tracy, an insurance agency owner and eight-year legislative veteran, said, “It is with a heavy heart that I have decided to challenge the incumbent from my own party. For the good of the people of the 4th Congressional District, who hold our Tennessee values dear, a change in leadership is a must.”
Tracy said a “place like Washington, D.C., requires someone of integrity and character.”
That’s intended as a direct challenge to DesJarlais, who first was elected in 2010 and touts his anti-abortion rights stances.
During his 2012 campaign against Democrat Eric Stewart, DesJarlais was rocked by revelations that he slept with at least two patients in 2000, urged one of them who said she was pregnant by him to get an abortion and faced other issues.
Efforts to reach DesJarlais spokesman Robert Jameson on Tuesday were unsuccessful.
After state Rep. Joe Carr, R-Lacassas, announced last month that he had formed a committee to test the waters for a campaign against DesJarlais, Jameson said the congressman “is completely focused on the job he was elected to do by residents of the 4th District.”


UPDATE: DesJarlais was asked about Tracy’s candidacy by Cara Kumari. His response as reported on her blog:
A: “I think I probably speak for everybody that we’re all a little campaign weary. I’m ready to focus on the job I was elected to do and there will be plenty of time to talk campaigning in a year or so.”
Q: “How do you make amends to the voters who believe you lied to them?”
A: “I have people all over the district that have been calling and coming up to me and thanking me for the job I’m doing and wanting me to continue to represent them the way that I have. So the rhetoric we’re hearing in the news is not what I’m hearing from my constituents.”

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