NASHVILLE - Republican U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais held a better than seven-to-one cash advantage over Democratic challenger Eric Stewart on Sept. 30, campaign filings show.
While the two candidates matched spending in the third quarter - DesJarlais spent $185,560 to Stewart's $182,482 - DesJarlais was in a far better position cash-wise for the final weeks of the campaign for the 4th District seat, Federal Election Commission filings show.
DesJarlais, a Jasper physician, reported a $599,163 balance while state Sen. Stewart of Winchester said he had $84,849 on hand.
The financial disclosures, filed Monday, cover the period from July 14 through Sept. 30.
DesJarlais also reported raising $193,477 from individual donors and political action committees while Stewart raised $114,619.
The contest had been seen as a safe bet for DesJarlais, but revelations last week that DesJarlais in 2000 pressed a former patient with whom he had a sexual relationship to get an abortion gave Stewart an opening, observers say. DesJarlais has campaigned as an anti-abortion advocate.
DesJarlais has acknowledged the transcript of a recorded conversation with the woman is genuine, but said he discussed the abortion to get the woman to acknowledge she wasn't pregnant. There was no pregnancy and no abortion, DesJarlais said.
Early voting in Tennessee begins Wednesday.
For more details, see tomorrow's Times Free Press.