New disclosures show Sherrell outspending DesJarlais Oct. 1-15

Democrat Lenda Sherrell’s campaign plunked down nearly $200,000 for television ads during the 15 days leading up to early voting in her Nov. 4 challenge to Republican U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, reports the Chattanooga TFP.

The expenditures accounted for the bulk of the retired CPA’s $253,785 in spending from Oct. 1-15.

Filings with the Federal Election Commission on Friday also show Sherrell outspent DesJarlais more than 3-to-1 during the period in the 4th Congressional District race. DesJarlais, a South Pittsburg physician, disclosed spending $76,468 during the 15-day period.

The bulk of DesJarlais’ expenditures — $47,391 — went to direct mail during the Oct. 1-15 period. He didn’t start running television ads until after the report ended.

Both candidates are slamming each other in those ads, with Sherrell pointing to DesJarlais’ scandals that included dating patients and encouraging one to seek an abortion as outlined in his 2001 divorce transcript.

The doctor, meanwhile, is attacking Sherrell as “Liberal Lenda,” pointing to her work as a volunteer in Organizing for Action, affiliated with President Barack Obama. It’s a conservative district and DesJarlais, with a staunchly conservative voting record and the power of incumbency, has the upper hand, independent observers say.

During the latest reporting period, DesJarlais raised $59,070 in net contributions, bringing the total amount he’s raised for the two-year cycle to $573,353. He has spent a total of $519,033 during the cycle, which included his knock-down drag-out GOP primary with challenger Jim Tracy in August. He barely won by 38 votes.

As of Oct. 15, DesJarlais reported having $85,357 in cash on hand while Sherrell reported $89,177 as the campaign heads into its final days.