“It is with a heavy heart that I have decided to challenge the incumbent from my own party,” Tracy said, during a press conference Wednesday at Reeves-Sain in Murfreesboro.
“For the good people of the 4th District who hold our Tennessee values dear, a change in leadership is a must,” he said. “A place like Washington, D.C., requires someone of integrity and character.
“I am a conservative in word and deed. I have lived my life both personally and professionally in a way that is consistent with my core conservative values.”
Tracy will face off against Desjarlais, who was sworn in Thursday to his second term in office, in the August 2014 primary.
Desjarlais has been embroiled in personal scandals surrounding allegations of abortions, adultery, domestic abuse and the possible revocation of his medical licenses for inappropriate relationships with patients for whom he was prescribing narcotics.
Although Tracy acknowledged that he initially supported DesJarlais, the Shelbyville native said he was astounded by what was included in court transcripts detailing the allegations and felt betrayed, as did many in the Republican Party.
“I promise that I will never embarrass you with my personal conduct or compromise on my conservative principles,” he said. “I have served my constituents for the past eight years in an honorable and consistent way. I will continue to do so if you give me the honor of serving you in Washington.”