published Monday, January 9th, 2012

U.S. House leaders, Koch brothers aid U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais

NASHVILLE — Facing a newly redrawn congressional district and likely a GOP primary challenge from Middle Tennessee, U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn., of Jasper today announced he has more than $436,000 in cash on hand.

DesJarlais said his Federal Election Commission disclosure for the fourth quarter will show he has raised more than $606,000 so far in the 2012 election cycle.

The report will also show the DesJarlais campaign raised $154,127 for the fourth quarter — which the campaign said is his best fundraising quarter to date.

His FEC report shows donors including leadership political action committees affiliated with House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia. Each contributed $5,000. Prosperity PAC, associated with House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., gave $5,000.

Kock Industries PAC, which is associated with the controversial Republican conservative industrialists David and Charles Koch, gave $2,500 to DesJarlais.

Jimmy Haslam III, the brother of Republican Gov. Bill Haslam, gave $3,500 while Jimmy Haslam’s wife, Susan, gave $2,000 to DesJarlais. Colleen Welch, Vanderbilt University’s director of nursing and wife of Republican developer and fundraiser Ted Welch, gave $850.

In a news release, DesJarlais said said he ran for Congress “because I wanted the people of Tennessee’s Fourth Congressional district to have an independent, conservative voice in Washington.”

Under Republican redistricting plans to be voted on in the General Assembly this week, the sprawling 4th District changes substantially, losing a number of rural Middle Tennessee counties and picking up Rutherford County, a major Nashville suburb containing Murfreesboro.

It also would pick up Rhea County and part of Bradley County.

State Senate Republican Caucus Chairman Bill Ketron, R-Murfeesboro, is weighing challenging DesJarlais, a freshman who unexpectedly trounced Democratic incumbent Lincoln Davis in 2010.

State Sen. Jim Tracy, R-Shelbyville, could also run.

about Andy Sher...

Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...

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