NASHVILLE -- Republican Jim Tracy begins airing his first television ad in the 4th Congressional District campaign today with a spot that describes him as a "conservative" with "integrity" while delivering a veiled criticism of his GOP primary opponent, U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais.
"Growing up, my family didn't have a lot of money," Tracy says in the 30-second spot which was to begin running on Chattanooga broadcast television and cable stations in a $21,977 week-long buy.
"But my dad," Tracy adds, "he gave me a good name. I protected my good name and handed it down. Integrity isn't just the main thing. It's the only thing. Too many congressmen are short on integrity and that's how our nation got in this mess. To stop the Obama agenda, we as Republicans have got to clean up our own house first and start fresh."
Tracy, a state senator from Shelbyville, is running against DesJarlais, a South Pittsburg physician.
DesJarlais' political career took a hit both during and after his 2012 campaign with revelations he pressured a patient, with whom he had had an affair, to seek an abortion. Subsequent documents from his 2001 divorce showed that DesJarlais earlier went along with his wife's decision to seek two abortions.
In a statement, DesJarlais struck back at the ad, in which an announcer describers his challenger as "conservative Jim Tracy."
"There is nothing conservative about voting for Common Core, advocating for Barack Obama’s stimulus package and supporting higher gas taxes," DesJarlais said.
The congressman has previously said his life took a dramatic change for the better following the 2001 divorce after remarrying and finding a deeper religious faith.
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, ...