Starrett banks more cash than DesJarlais; has TN donors

Challenger Grant Starrett held the fundraising edge over incumbent U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais in third quarter fundraising, but it wasn’t by much and the congressman continues to dominate contributions coming from people in the 4th Congressional District, reports the Times Free Press.

Federal Election Commission filings show 27-year-old challenger Starrett, an attorney from Murfreesboro, raised $92,909 in the July 1-Sept. 30 period versus $78,360 for DesJarlais, a South Pittsburg physician who two years ago was reeling from revelations about his scandalous pre-congressional personal life.

But when it comes to cash on hand, Starrett holds a better than 3-to-1 advantage over DesJarlais, who won the GOP primary in 2014 by a cat’s whisker against state Sen. Jim Tracy of Shelbyville.
…Starrett’s campaign war chest stood at $693,510 on Sept. 30. DesJarlais reported $208,186 cash on hand, according to his disclosure. Starrett has raised $599,586 in the past two quarters. During the second quarter he also loaned his campaign $226,561.

Starrett’s campaign manager, Tommy Schultz, said in a statement that “the goal of every campaign is to raise as much money as possible, as early as possible. And we’re doing just that.”

…DesJarlais’ campaign has criticized Starrett, a California native who lived in Williamson County outside the 4th District before deciding to run and moving to Murfreesboro, as an opportunist who is “simply using his parents’ money” and family ties to run.

Starrett’s 4th District contributions included $250 from Joseph Riley of Etowah, who listed himself as a U.S. Army officer, and Jim Barrier of Columbia.

Other Tennessee donors outside the 4th include attorney/lobbyist Lee Barfield of Nashville, brother-in-law of former U.S. Sen. Bill Frist, R-Tenn.; and David Colquitt, a regional manager with Pilot Flying J, the firm owned by Republican Gov. Bill Haslam and his family, which gave $1,000.

Dewitt Thompson of Nashville gave $200. His address matches that of Dewitt Thompson IV, who is a part owner of the Nashville Predators hockey team.

Former Tennessee Republican Party Chairwoman Susan Richardson Williams of Knoxville gave $500 to Starrett.
Contributors outside Tennessee included several investment bankers and financial advisers from California, New York and Jackson, Wyo.