published Friday, December 7th, 2012

Scott DesJarlais emptied campaign bank account toward end of race

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    Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R.-Tenn., exits Judge Jacqueline Bolton's courtroom.
    Photo by Dan Henry.
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NASHVILLE — U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn., spent $436,000 in the final days of his re-election campaign as he sought to overcome revelations that he pressured a former patient and lover to get an abortion.

The Jasper physician fended off Democratic challenger Eric Stewart to win a second term, but it cost him.

According to his latest financial disclosure, his campaign war chest held just $15,660.65 in cash as of Nov. 26. He spent $1.26 million during the campaign cycle.

Between Oct. 18 and Nov. 26, DesJarlais raised $132,045, including $71,816 from political action committees and GOP congressional colleagues’ committees.

Among donors was the National Pro-Life Alliance PAC, which contributed $500.

After the election, the congressman has continued to deal with revelations from his 2001 divorce that he supported his former wife’s two abortions and that he had several affairs while they were separated.

DesJarlais has said he has straightened out his life. He told a Nashville talk radio show host last week that God has forgiven him and he hopes “fellow Christians” and constituents will as well.

He still faces complaints filed with Tennessee’s Board of Medical Examiners over his affairs with patients and with a congressional ethics panel over allegations he made misleading statements to the public.

Four Republicans, including three state legislators, are weighing challenges to DesJarlais in 2014.

about Andy Sher...

Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...

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