U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais’ campaign is criticizing a Roll Call list that says he is one of 10 most vulnerable congressmen in the 2014 mid-term election race.
“Roll Call has absolutely no idea what they are talking about. We have a clear path to victory and the congressman has the backing of his constituents,” campaign spokesman Robert Jameson said by email. “This is not the first time so-called experts from inside the beltway have predicted Congressman DesJarlais would fall short in an election and he has proven them wrong every single time. It is disappointing that Roll Call is under the false assumption that this district can simply be bought.”
DesJarlais, a South Pittsburg primary care physician, faces state Sen. Jim Tracy, R-Shelbyville, in August’s Republican primary, and Roll Call wrote, “It’s increasingly difficult to see any path to victory for DesJarlais in the 4th District.”
Considered the newspaper of Capitol Hill, Roll Call said, “The self-described abortion rights opponent is damned by revelations, stemming from his 2001 divorce, that he encouraged his ex-wife and former mistress to get multiple abortions.”
That issue has made fundraising difficult for DesJarlais, the newspaper wrote, noting he had $198,000 in the bank on March 31 while Tracy reported having $914,000 on hand.
“Most likely, DesJarlais won’t have enough to defend himself on air this summer – and Tracy might not even need to go negative to win the Aug. 7 primary,” Roll Call wrote.
Tracy said he is excited about the Roll Call list, but he pointed out that several other organizations have said the same thing about the 4th District race.
“Trena and I feel very good about where we are right now,” he said of his wife as they run a grass-roots campaign. “People are looking for someone new to represent the 4th District, someone with Tennessee values who can go to Washington and represent the 4th District.”
Constituents are also willing to make contributions to someone they believe will represent them and show leadership in Congress, Tracy said.