NASHVILLE -- Attorney Grant Starrett of Murfreesboro announced today he is running against Republican U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais next year in the 4th Congressional District's GOP primary.
Starrett describes himself as a Christian and "constitutional conservative."
And he is coming from the right against DesJarlais, a South Pittsburg physician who barely survived his 2014 Gop primary amid revelations he slept with patients and co-workers and encouraged one to obtain an abortion.
"I'm running for Congress because the country I love is endangered by the people in power," said Starrett in a news release. "America is hurting because of the actions and inactions of those who control the federal government, chief among them President Obama."
As a result, Starrett said, the country faces "three crises: a moral crisis, an economic crisis, and a constitutional crisis."
He said there are "big differences between myself and Congressman DesJarlais. The congressman's voting record in Washington simply doesn't match his rhetoric in the district."
Starrett, 27, currently serves as vice president and special counsel at Lion Real Estate Group. Last year the Vanderbilt University Law School graduate, served as president of Tennesseans for Judicial Accountability which he says fought to restore "constitutional order" to Tennessee's judicial selection process.
Starrett also worked in Republican Mitt Romney's two presidential bids and once worked at the Senate Steering Committee under then-U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint, a hard-right Republican who is now president of the conservative Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank in Washington.
Starrett said that while DesJarlais "claims" to be the the most conservative member of the Tennessee Congressional delegation, the congressman has "voted against legislation that would have balanced our budget, cut wasteful spending , implemented pro-growth tax reform, and put our country on a path to prosperity."
Starrett said that's why groups including the American Conservative Union and Citizens Against Government Waste have rated DesJarlais "last or near the bottom" on members vote' rankings.
He also noted DesJarlais was the lone Republican congressman from Tennessee who was not endorsed by National Right to Life.
But this could become a three-man contest. State Sen. Jim Tracy, R-Shelbville, who lost the 2014 GOP primary to DesJarlais by 38 votes, told the Times Free Press recently that he is weighing another race.
The 4th District includes all or parts of 15 counties in East and Middle Tennessee and stretches from Cleveland to Murfreesboro.