By Erik Schelzig, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — State Sen. Jim Tracy has raised more than four times as much as the embattled congressional incumbent he is challenging in the Republican primary next year.
According to campaign disclosures filed with the Federal Election Commission on Monday, Tracy raised more than $436,485 in the first quarter, compared with U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais’ net of $104,532.
DesJarlais, a Jasper physician, won a second term in November despite revelations that he once urged a patient with whom he was having an affair to get an abortion.
Transcripts released after the election revealed that DesJarlais made a mutual decision with his first wife to have two abortions.
“Jim Tracy’s robust fundraising totals coupled with his strong grassroots organization put him in the best position to defeat the scandal ridden incumbent in the 2014 primary,” Tracy’s finance chairman Shane Reeves said in a release this week.
Meanwhile, state Rep. Joe Carr of Murfreesboro said he had raised about $205,479 for his exploratory committee to join the GOP race for the 4th District seat.
Tracy had $404,000 remaining in cash on hand, compared to $87,427 for DesJarlais.
DesJarlais reported raising $101,694 from individuals, but just $11,781 from political action committees, which are usually generous to incumbents expected to win re-election. His quarterly campaign spending of $35,442 includes $9,000 in refunds to PACs.
Tracy raised $412,000 from individual, and $24,500 from PACs. He spent $32,483 during the period.
DesJarlais in the court proceedings acknowledged having sex with at least two patients and he said he prescribed painkillers for at least one of them.
He urged one of those patients to get an abortion during a phone conversation he recorded. The congressman denied during the campaign that he had recorded the call, but in his 2001 testimony he acknowledged that he did. DesJarlais said he was only trying to get her to admit she wasn’t pregnant.
Tracy, a Shelbyville insurance agent and former college basketball referee, previously ran for Congress in 2010 before his county was moved from the 6th District as part of the redistricting process.
He came in third behind then-state Sen. Diane Black, the eventual winner of the seat, and Murfreesboro businesswoman Lou Ann Zelenik in a GOP primary contest separated by just 566 votes.