Congressman Scott DesJarlais plans to launch re-election campaign Aug. 7

Congressman Scott DesJarlais plans to launch re-election campaign Aug. 7

July 24th, 2013 by Andy Sher in Local - Breaking News

U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais

U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais

Photo by John Rawlston /Times Free Press.

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NASHVILLE - U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais will officially kick off his 4th Congressional District campaign on Aug. 7 in Winchester.

The announcement will come exactly a year before the 2014 Republican primary in which the South Pittsburg physician faces stiff opposition from two GOP challengers.

"My first priority has always been to do my job in Congress, representing the people of Tennessee's Fourth Congressional District," DesJarlais said in a news release. "I do not believe that voters elect their leaders to run a perpetual campaign.

However, DesJarlais added, "I feel that one year from the primary is an appropriate time to start focusing on the 2014 election."

He said he and his wife, Amy, are "are incredibly grateful for the strong support we have received from friends all across the Fourth District. Tennesseans know they can count on me to never compromise on independent, conservative principles and that I will always fight for smaller government, less spending and more jobs."

DesJarlais was first elected in 2010. But the congressman, who has run as a staunch pro-life advocate, was rocked in 2012 by revelations showing he had encouraged a patient to seek an abortion in 2000.

Documents later released from his divorce showed he concurred with his then-wife's decision to seek two abortions. But the congressman has said that was over a dozen years ago and that he has since changed his life, found God and remarried.