published Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

New call for Scott DesJarlais to resign rejected

EARLY VOTING

Early voting continues through Thursday. In Hamilton County, voters may cast ballots at:

• Brainerd Recreation Center, 1010 N. Moore Road. 10 a.m.-8 p.m.

• Northgate Mall, entrance at former Shane's Rib Shack/Pizza Hut next to Belk. 10 a.m.-8 p.m.

• Eastwood Church, 4300 Ooltewah-Ringgold Road. 10 a.m.-8 p.m.

• Hamilton County Election Commission, 700 River Terminal Road. 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

BRING YOUR PHOTO ID

The state requires all Tennessee voters to bring a photo ID with them to their polling place. Acceptable photo IDs include:

• Tennessee driver's license with photo

• U.S. military photo ID

• U.S. passport

• U.S. Department of Safety and Homeland Security photo ID

• Any photo ID issued by state or federal government, excluding college IDs

Source: Hamilton County Election Commission

NASHVILLE -- The chairman of the Tennessee Conservative Union called Tuesday for U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn., to resign from Congress, saying the physician's past actions reach "a level of hypocrisy that is simply untenable."

In a statement, Lloyd Daugherty said DesJarlais "has repudiated the beliefs of the Fourth Congressional District, rejected the long held core values of the state of Tennessee, shamed the Republican Party and accomplished something incredibly difficult."

Daugherty listed recent revelations about DesJarlais' previous romantic relationships in which he urged one woman, a former patient, to seek an abortion in 2000. Last week, a second former patient told the Chattanooga Times Free Press that she dated DesJarlais in 2000 and that he had prescribed drugs for her and used marijuana with her.

DesJarlais campaign manager Brandon Lewis charged that Daugherty "is neither genuinely conservative or Republican and routinely supports liberal Democrats like Lincoln Davis and Eric Stewart in an effort to drive a wedge among conservative groups for his liberal puppet masters."

Stewart, a Democrat, faces DesJarlais in the 4th District contest. DesJarlais defeated then-U.S. Rep. Davis in 2012.

Lewis said DesJarlais "has a strong conservative voting record in support of reducing deficits, decreasing taxes, and creating jobs that is undeniable -- that's why liberals are trying their best to make this race about a 14-year-old divorce."

Daugherty said he is not supporting Stewart. A number of conservatives are "angry" at DesJarlais over the recent revelations, he said, which occurred while he was in the midst of a lengthy, bitterly contested divorce.

"This would have happened whether it's an election year or not," Daugherty said. "If he [DesJarlais] wins re-election, we're just going to continue working on this. It doesn't go away."

Earlier this week, Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Chip Forrester called on DesJarlais to resign and denounced top Republicans, including Gov. Bill Haslam, who have distanced themselves from the embattled congressman but not criticized him.

Also on Monday, a Democratic "super PAC," the House Majority PAC, announced it was spending an additional $180,000 on ads attacking DesJarlais in the Chattanooga and Nashville television markets. The group already had spent $100,000 attacking DesJarlais.

Contact staff writer Andy Sher at asher@timesfreepress.com or 615-255-0550.

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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