NASHVILLE — Republican state Sen. Jim Tracy has enlisted an army of top GOP figures and fundraisers for his 2014 congressional bid against embattled U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn., according to his campaign.
The leadership team includes former Republican Gov. Winfield Dunn and the top leadership of the state Senate: Lt. Gov Ron Ramsey, state Senate Speaker Pro Tempore Bo Watson of Hixson, Majority Leader Mark Norris of Collierville and Republican Caucus Chairman Bill Ketron of Murfreesboro.
Recently elected state Sen. Todd Gardenhire, R-Chattanooga, is on the team as well. Four other newly elected state senators, three of them physicians, are backing Tracy, a Shelbyville businessman, in his bid.
DesJarlais, a Jasper physician, was elected to a second term in Congress in November despite revelations he had sexual affairs with at least two patients and urged one of them to seek an abortion.
The congressman is currently fending off ethics complaints filed with the Tennessee Department of Health and a congressional ethics panel over the affairs, which occurred in the late 1990s and 2000.
DesJarlais has rejected calls for his resignation and has said he is running in 2014.
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, ...