The National Journal has released a compilation of the “Top 10 Lawmakers Who Could Lose a Primary Next Year,” and Rep. Scott DesJarlais is at the top of the list.
DesJarlais, who officially launched his bid for a third term at an event in Winchester Wednesday, is described by the Washington, D.C., publication as rarely being mentioned in the news without the word “embattled” next to his name.
The observation rings true in the headline of an Associated Press report of the congressman’s campaign kickoff, which quoted the pro-life congressman dismissing coverage in the media of decade-old divorce records.
“It’s no secret my opponents and the media love to pick apart mistakes I made in the 1990s, long before I ever decided to run for Congress,” DesJarlais was quoted saying.
In the weeks leading up to-along with the months following-his re-election in 2012, records showed that DesJarlais supported his ex-wife’s decision to have two abortions, slept with multiple patients while working as a physician in Jasper and encouraged one of them to terminate a pregnancy. Since the revelations, the congressman has said he found forgiveness from God and remarried. He has boasted a record of backing pro-life legislation in Congress.
He was also fined $500 by the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners in March.
Despite his re-election with 56 percent of the vote, DesJarlais has drawn two GOP challengers for next year’s Aug. 7 primary. Both candidates, state Sen. Jim Tracy and Rep. Joe Carr, have outraised DesJarlais in two straight quarters.
To read the full National Journal report, click here.