Republican Grant Starrett raised $91,699 from Oct. 1 through Dec. 31 for his GOP primary challenge to U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn., in the 4th Congressional District, reports the Times-Free Press.
Starrett finished the year with $728,773 in cash on hand, according to the attorney’s Federal Election Commission fourth-quarter filing.
But $226,561 in debts and obligations takes that down to $500,000 as the 27-year-old attorney prepares to do battle with DesJarlais, a South Pittsburg physician.
DesJarlais won the 2014 contest by 38 votes over GOP challenger Jim Tracy in the sprawling, largely rural district that stretches from Bradley County over to Murfreesboro in Rutherford County.
Starrett’s total nine-month haul in 2015 for this year’s challenge was $917,846… including) $226,561 came from personal loans made by Starrett himself.
“Raising more than $900,000 in nine months shows that conservatives continue to rally behind Grant Starrett’s visionary campaign for Congress,” said Tommy Schultz, Starrett’s campaign manager. “Tennesseans are looking for a faithful conservative like Grant who will go to Washington and fight for our country’s future.”
Starrett, who was born and raised in California, continued to receive the vast majority of his contributions from outside Tennessee, let alone the 4th Congressional District, according to the candidate’s latest disclosure.
And DesJarlais spokesman Robert Jameson noticed.
“Grant Starrett has raised less than 1 percent of his funds from within Tennessee’s 4th Congressional District,” Jameson said. “His campaign can try to spin this however they like, but the fact is Grant has gained no support in the district.
“Now,” Jameson charged, “his plan is to use huge sums of out of state money to try and buy a congressional seat. Unfortunately for him, the Fourth District is not for sale.”