published Friday, August 8th, 2014

DesJarlais bid to hang onto seat too close to call

  • photo
    Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn., center, arrives to watch results come in after the polls closed in South Pittsburg, Tenn. on Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

  • photo
    State Sen. Jim Tracy, R-Shelbyville, left, greets people working for various candidates at a polling place as he campaigns for Congress on Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014, in Murfreesboro, Tenn.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

NASHVILLE — U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, who has been battered by a series of scandals, is locked in a razor-thin battle to hang onto his seat in Tennessee's Republican primary.

Results from Thursday's balloting show DesJarlais with just a 33-vote margin ahead of state Sen. Jim Tracy. The race was too close to call and may ultimately be decided on a possible recount.

Desjarlais, a physician, won re-election in 2012 despite revelations he urged a patient he was dating to seek an abortion.

After the election, court officials released transcripts of divorce proceedings that included DesJarlais admitting under oath that he had eight affairs and used a gun to intimidate his first wife.

Tracy had far outpaced DesJarlais in campaign fundraising.

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