WINCHESTER, Tenn. – Voters in Tennessee’s 4th Congressional district are not reacting favorably to the news that U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, a licensed medical doctor, admits to having four affairs, sleeping with one of his patients, and then phoning the patient, encouraging her to have an abortion.
Following the revelations of last week, a poll conducted by Myers Research on Oct. 15th and 16th shows that DesJarlais is now in a statistical dead heat with his opponent, Democratic State Senator Eric Stewart.
“The people of Tennessee deserve to have a congressman to represent them that has not caused the type of national embarassment that we've seen from Congressman DesJarlais. He has been an embarrassment to elected officials, to the state of Tennessee, and to the medical profession. He’s violated his oath of marriage, the oath he took as a doctor, and the trust of the voters,” Stewart said.
DesJarlais' October surprise came from the Huffington Post, who reported Oct. 10 on transcripts of a conversation between the representative and a mistress.
The transcripts allegedly reveal DesJarlais had an affair with a female patient and later pressured her to have an abortion – a situation that could have possibly violated ethical guidelines set forth by the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners.
According to the guidelines, any sexual contact that occurs between a physician and patient constitutes misconduct.
he Huffington Post's story was followed with Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filing a complaint Monday, Oct. 15 with the Tennessee Medical Examiner’s Board asking that DesJarlais be investigated immediately for having sex with one of his patients.
The freshman Republican, who has refused to discuss issues in debates with Stewart, said his opponent is using the allegations to “run from his out-of-touch positions and far-left beliefs and straight to the same, old gutter politics” that 4th District voters rejected during the 2010 campaign against former U.S. Rep. Lincoln Davis.