by Steven Hale
It's been an especially newsy week in Tennessee's 4th Congressional District, site of the Republican three-way between incumbent Rep. Scott DesJarlais and challengers state Sen. Jim Tracy and state Rep. Joe Carr.
The latest financial disclosures show Jim Tracy keeping up an enormous lead on the competition, particularly DesJarlais, whom he's outraised by an 8-to-1 margin.
Evaporating financial support has left DesJarlais with just $88,000 in cash, as compared to his opponents' six-figure sums. And that fact has apparently not escaped the notice of anonymous people in the state and in Washington, D.C.
Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call talks to a few about DesJarlais' weak performance:
“The question from Republican viewers of the race isn’t just, ‘Where does he go for the money?’ but, ‘Where does he go for the support from voters?’” an unaffiliated Tennessee GOP operative said of DesJarlais.
A person close to the DesJarlais campaign attributed the smaller haul to the fact that the congressman spent the second quarter focusing on his work on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, instead of hosting fundraisers.
“He absolutely plans on staying in the race and is confident he’ll win in 2014,” this source said. “Congressman DesJarlais believes the people in the 4th District deserve a break from campaigning. He plans to focus more on fundraising starting in August.”
A person familiar with the opinions of this Pith writer attributes the smaller haul to the fact that the congressman is a serial adulterer, hypocrite and all-around creep. But opinions are like medical patients doubling as mistresses — everybody has one.
Topping off the intrigue in the Fighting Fourth is confirmation from the DNJ that Carr will not run for re-election in his state House district. A source who is Joe Carr tells the DNJ that this is a noble move on his part:
“I hope there comes a time in the not too distant future when those who seek public service through the election process do so without the safety net of keeping their current political title.”