U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais kicked off his reelection campaign today while rated by the National Journal as the most likely incumbent congressmen to lose his seat in next year’s primary elections.
Here’s the excerpted Journal entry on DesJarlais (full article HERE), rated at the top of a list of the ten most likely members of Congress to lose their 2014 primary:
1) Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn.
It’s rare to see the name of Republican Scott DeJarlais without the adjective “embattled” attached to it these days. First, ex-wife of the antiabortion Tennessee physician had two abortions before they got married. Then came allegations that he slept with patients, and encouraged one to have abortion. (He was fined $500 by the state’s medical board for patient relationships–a no-no in the medical field.) As comedian Stephen Colbert quipped, “He is still adamantly against abortion except when it endangers the political life of the father.” DesJarlais has already drawn two GOP primary opponents in 2014, state Sen. Jim Tracy and state Rep. Joe Carr, who are both outraising the incumbent. Tracy ended the second quarter with $656,000 cash on hand, and Carr had $275,000. DesJarlais trailed, netting only $88,000 after raising a meager $39,000 in the second quarter.
And here’s Erik Schelzig’s story on the reelection kickoff event:
WINCHESTER, Tenn. (AP) — Short on campaign cash and facing two formidable opponents from within his own party, Republican U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais kicked off his bid for a third term in office Wednesday.
DesJarlais launched his re-election campaign from the steps of the courthouse in Winchester before about 100 supporters huddled under umbrellas as a storm approached.
The congressman got his loudest cheer for pledging to continue to fight President Barack Obama’s health care law.
“We’re the last line of defense between President Obama and his radical vision for America,” he said. “If we do not take a stand, then who will?”
In the 10-minute speech, DesJarlais dismissed attention to personal issues that have plagued his political career. The Jasper physician, who was reprimanded and fined by the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners in May for having sex with patients before he was elected, said those events have no bearing on his performance in office.