published Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

Scott DesJarlais leads Stewart in 4th District money race

NASHVILLE -- Democratic congressional hopeful Eric Stewart, of Winchester, edged closer to matching U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn., in second quarter fundraising, but DesJarlais still holds a better than 3-to-1 cash-on-hand advantage, according to filings.

Financial disclosures filed in the 4th Congressional District with the Federal Election Commission show DesJarlais, a Jasper physician, raised $211,628 from April 1 to June 30. Stewart reported raising $148,308 in net contributions.

But DesJarlais' disclosure shows he has $651,693 in cash on hand while Stewart reported $188,813.

DesJarlais has raised a total of $909,401 so far during the course of the campaign while Stewart's tally is $355,253. DesJarlais has had the advantage in contributions from political action committees.

No report was available for Republican Shannon Kelley on the FEC's searchable database for electronic filings. DesJarlais faces Kelley, an airline pilot from Rutherford County, in the Aug. 2 election. The winner will face Stewart, who is unopposed in the Democratic primary.

In a statement, DesJarlais said he is "grateful for all of those who support my candidacy and my efforts to end Obamacare, cut taxes, lessen regulations, and grow the economy."

"While there are those who have chosen the road of typical negative attacks that demonstrate their lack of ideas, I have dedicated my first term in Congress to reaching out to my constituents and listening to their concerns and ideas as to how Washington can work for them," DesJarlais said.

Stewart said in an interview that "we're making some headway. We've got some grass-roots support out there. We got a lot of folks that are involved and becoming more involved in the campaign.

"A lot of folks out there are ready for a change. They're ready for folks to go to Washington and focus on the real issues, which are the economy and jobs."

Voters want Congress to "start working together to do the job they were sent to do. And again that goes for both sides of the aisle."

Contact staff writer Andy Sher at asher@timesfreepress.com or 615-255-0550.

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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