Tag Archives: 4th District

DesJarlais defeats Starrett in 4th District

U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais has won the 4th District Republican nomination to a new term despite being substantially outspent by challenger Grant Starrett.

Unofficial returns who the incumbent with about 42 percent of the vote; Starrett 10 percentage points back. (Note: Results HERE.)

The Times-Free Press has statements from the two campaigns:

A statement from Starrett’s campaign says:

“We spoke with tens of thousands of our friends and neighbors face to face at their doorsteps and in their living rooms over the course of this campaign, and I’m grateful for their prayers, support, and vote of confidence to be their next Congressman. While it was not enough, I’m proud of our campaign, and I’m incredibly grateful for everyone involved.

“I just called to congratulate Congressman DesJarlais, and I wish him the best in his work as a Representative for our district.”

DesJarlais released the following statement: “Despite my opponent spending nearly two million dollars trying to distort my conservative voting record, the people of the Fourth District know I will always fight for Tennessee values and principles. I am honored by the opportunity to continue to serve my constituents and I promise to remain steadfast in my defense of conservative constitutional principles

Starrett defends work history

Republican congressional candidate Grant Starrett is taking issue with attacks about his work history from incumbent U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, reports the Daily News Journal.

DesJarlais campaign spokesman Robert Jameson, citing blog posts about Starrett’s employment, recently sent out accusations that Starrett doesn’t have an actual job and is instead being bankrolled by “his father’s rich friends” in order to campaign for Congress.

Starrett campaign manager Tommy Schultz, however, said Starrett has worked with Los Angeles-based Lion Real Estate Group LLC.

“This is a dirty trick in the final week of the election by a desperate DesJarlais scrambling to divert attention from his votes for Obama’s food stamps and military cuts,” Schultz said. “This attack on Grant is pathetic and outrageous. It’s an outright lie straight out of Harry Reid’s dirty playbook. Scott DesJarlais and his cronies should be ashamed.” Continue reading

Starrett bumps self-funding up to $900K

Challenger Grant Starrett this week personally loaned his campaign another $200,000 as his 4th Congressional District Republican primary with U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais heads into its final stretch, reports the Times-Free Press.

The $200,001.10 loan, made Tuesday and reported to the Federal Election Commission on Thursday, brings the total amount of personal loans the wealthy 28-year-old attorney has made to his nearly two-year effort now to $876,562.10.

Combined with $23,400 Starrett gave his campaign last year as an in-kind contribution, his total personal stake in the contest now at nearly $900,000 or $899,962.10 to be precise.

It accounts for over half of the $1.69 million he’s taken in.

DesJarlais has bashed Starrett repeatedly, charging he is an opportunistic “trust fund millionaire” seeking to “buy” a Tennessee congressional seat. Starrett, meanwhile, has charged the three-term congressman has “betrayed” the largely rural district’s residents on a number of votes.

Starrett now has $700K in self-financing

In the first two weeks of July, Republican challenger Grant Starrett expanded mail and media assault on U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais in the state’s 4th Congressional District primary.

Further from the Times-Free Press:

A pre-primary disclosure form Starrett filed Saturday with the Federal Election Commission for July 1-15 showed he spent $190,000 on a TV and radio ad blitz and direct mail, and has spent $918,591 overall to date in the 16-county race.

…Meanwhile, a separate 48-hour disclosure Starrett filed last week showed the the 28-year-old attorney from Murfreesboro loaned his campaign another $200,000.

To date, Starrett has loaned his campaign $676,561. Combined with $23,400 Starrett gave his campaign as an in-kind contribution, his total personal stake in the contest is now $699,961. It accounts for almost half of the $1.49 million he’s taken in.

As of July 15, Starrett had $377,124.48 in cash on hand, according to the pre-primary disclosure. But that doesn’t include the $200,000 loan of July 18.

In his pre-primary disclosure, Starrett reported $584 in contributions.

DesJarlais’pre-primary report shows just $100 in contributions during the period and $73,472 in spending (including about $41,000 in direct mail and $15,520 on TV) His cash-on-hand balance was $249,627.

Starrett mailer brings protests from Muslims, DesJarlais

A Grant Starrett campaign mailer attacking U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais is offensive to Muslims, said an Islamic Center of Murfreesboro spokesman tells the Daily News Journal.

“It is racist,” said Saleh Sbenaty, the chairman of the ICM’s Outreach Committee. “People do not support racists or candidates who want to drive a wedge in our community. People will support candidates who build bridges and unite communities.”

The mailer in question depicts the Republican congressman holding what appears to be a driver’s license with the words: “Illegal immigrant identification cards funded by taxpayer dollars.” The card includes the name “Yusuf Jalil” and has a picture of a man wearing a keffiyeh (a Middle Eastern-style scarf) covering all but his eyes.

The mailer describes DesJarlais as having “dangerous priorities” because he “supports funding ID cards for illegal immigrants” and “votes against funding for our troops fighting ISIS.”

…Starrett stands by his mailer.

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: we are at war with radical Islam,” Starrett said in a statement emailed to The Daily News Journal. “Only politically correct cowards refuse to say so. We need to name our enemy, and engage them not only in a battle of arms, but a battle of ideas. Plenty of radical Muslims have been homegrown terrorists whether in Chattanooga, Orlando or Boston.

“Scott DesJarlais is the one who needs to respond as to why he proposes giving amnesty ID cards to illegal immigrants who may have ties to radical Muslim terrorism. I want to militarize the border and fully fund our military in this age of terrorism. Congressman DesJarlais should also respond as to why he voted for hundreds of millions of dollars in Obama’s military cuts.”

…DesJarlais campaign spokesman Robert Jameson offered the following response about the mailer from Starrett:

“Tennessee voters know better than to believe anything from Grant Starrett, the lying Californian. When Grant loses in August, I would encourage him to apply for an internship in Congressman DesJarlais’ office. That will give him an opportunity to work for a proven conservative leader.

DesJarlais’ first TV ad bashes ‘California trust fund millionaire’

More than a week after 4th District GOP primary rival Grant Starrett began airing a new television ad assaulting U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais’ record, the Tennessee congressman is returning the favor with his own TV spot slamming Starrett, reports the Times-Free Press.

DesJarlais’ “Mr. California” ad is slated to begin airing in the Chattanooga market on Tuesday. It portrays Starrett, an attorney who lives in Murfreesboro, as a youthful, out-of-state trust-fund millionaire trying to buy a seat in the largely rural 4th Congressional District.

Starrett has been running ads since early June, but this is DesJarlais’ first in the 2016 primary and comes as early voting is under way in the Aug. 4 election.

Running to DesJarlais’ right, Starrett has slammed the three-term incumbent on several votes and repeatedly has skewered him for passing on a 2015 opportunity to grill the head of Planned Parenthood at a congressional hearing.

DesJarlais’ first spot, which borrows heavily from an earlier direct-mail piece, is a take-off on the old TV series “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous,” featuring a gushing narrator with a British accent.

“‘Mr. California,’ starring Grant Starrett, the 28-year-old California trust-fund millionaire,” the announcer says. “Starrett grew up in a $10 million ocean-view mansion, moved to the 4th District last year just to run for Congress, using inherited fortune and out of state cash to join the club in Washington.”

Doctored images include a smiling Starrett on a California beach or grabbing his moment on a Hollywood red carpet, and images of $100 bills raining down on the candidate.

The ad shows DesJarlais speaking with a farmer and an elderly couple as the announcer, in an American accent, says, “Dr. DesJarlais fights for us, not the Washington establishment, making Scott DesJarlais the fourth most conservative congressman in the country.”

Tyler Privette, DesJarlais’ campaign coordinator, said the candidate has made a “significant ad buy covering both cable and network in the Chattanooga and Nashville media markets.”

Federal Communication Commission filings by Chattanooga broadcast TV stations on political advertising show an initial purchase of $11,029.

Note: A link to the ad is HERE.

Starrett outspends DesJarlais, $407K vs $86K

Grant Starrett’s second quarter disclosure shows he spent $407,000 on his 4th Congressional District GOP primary challenge to U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais and still had more than $500,000 in the bank on June 30, reports the Times-Free Press.

In comparison, DesJarlais spent just $86,393 during the April 1 to June 30 period, according to his disclosure on Friday with the Federal Election Commission.

Starrett had $567,186 in cash on hand while three-term incumbent DesJarlais reported $323,000.

A 28-year-old attorney living in Murfreesboro, Starrett went on television in early June and is spending heavily on television broadcast and cable ads, along with radio and other communications. The campaign has previously estimated it would spend some $400,000.

DesJarlais plans to go on television this coming week. The largely rural 4th District covers all or parts of 16 counties, stretching east from the city of Cleveland to Murfreesboro in the west. The primary media markets are Chattanooga and Nashville.

The two candidates’ disclosures, which were due Friday, also show Starrett, an attorney who moved to Murfreesboro to run, and DesJarlais, a 52-year-old South Pittsburg physician, nearly matched each other in contributions during the second quarter.

Starrett, who personally loaned his campaign $476,561 last year and earlier this year, reported raising $66,122 during the second quarter. DesJarlais raised $63,414.

The disclosures also show that Starrett, a conservative activist who originally is from the Las Angeles area and moved to Tennessee to attend Vanderbilt University Law School, continues to receive most of his contributions from outside the 4th District.

Most of the $42,664 that DesJarlais raised from individual contributors came from within the district or Tennessee. The remainder of his $66,414 haul — $20,750 — came from political action committees.

Grant Starrett’s second TV commercial

From the Times-Free Press:
“It’s shocking, but true,” a female announcer says in the 30-second spot, which began airing this week. “Scott DesJarlais voted for $700 billion in Obama’s food stamps. And DesJarlais supported Obama’s military cuts. DesJarlais even failed to hold America’s largest abortion provider accountable.”

Featuring images including armed, masked men in green uniforms marching on a beach and, later, what appears to be a sonogram of a fetus, the announcer goes on to say, “You’re paying for welfare and abortions all while we’re under attack by radical Muslims. You’ve been betrayed by DesJarlais.”

DesJarlais spokesman Robert Jameson charged that the ad, now running in the Chattanooga and Nashville areas, is packed with distortions.

“Grant’s latest ad simply confirms what most voters already know: he is an out-of-touch, establishment politician from California who couldn’t possibly represent conservatives in Tennessee,” Jameson said.

Starrett campaign manager Tommy Schultz said the ad is factual and on target.

DesJarlais launches direct mail attack on ‘trust fund millionaire’

Tennessee’s 4th Congressional District Rep, Scott DesJarlais is making a direct mail attack on his primary challenger, Grant Starrett, as a young West Coast “trust fund millionaire” trying to “buy his way into Congress.”

Further from the Times-Free Press:

The DesJarlais mailer, the first publicly funded piece by the three-term South Pittsburg physician in the Aug. 4 primary campaign, labels Starrett as “Mr. California.”

“Grant Starrett should be running for Congress in California, not Tennessee,” the mailer says. It further charges Starrett, 28, with “moving to Tennessee to buy his way into Congress,” that he “only moved into our district a year ago” and he “doesn’t represent us or our small town values.”

The mailer says Starrett “grew up in a ten million dollar home overlooking the Pacific Ocean in California” and notes his campaign is funded “with out-of-state money, including a half million-dollar loan from himself.”

Tommy Schultz, Starrett’s campaign manager, retorted that “apparently Grant Starrett is getting to Scott DesJarlais.”

Schultz blasted the congressman for spending $67,000 of public money on communications with constituents from Jan. 1 to March 31.

“It’s not surprising DesJarlais spent more than all eight other Tennessee Congressmen combined with taxpayer-funded ‘Mass Communications’ and then is blasting out false attack mailers from his campaign,” Schultz said in an email to the Times Free Press on Sunday.

…Robert Jameson, DesJarlais’ spokesman, charged Starrett “is someone who has absolutely no ties to the community and whose establishment views are out of touch with the majority of folks in the Fourth District. California does not need another congressman.”