DesJarlais not on Alexander re-election material

Arkansas-Tennessee Live Blog

NASHVILLE - A spokesman for Republican U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee says that the omission of U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn., from a list of honorary co-chairman for Alexander's 2014 re-election campaign was the result of a mutual decision.

"Both agreed it would be a distraction," said Jim Jeffries in an email in response to a reporter's question.

Jeffries did not elaborate. But DesJarlais, a Jasper physician, has been battling revelations he and his then-wife agreed in the 1990s that she would get two abortions.

He also testified during his 2001 divorce trial that he had had affairs with at least two patients, including one he pressured to get an abortion. All the matters occurred prior to his remarriage and election to Congress in 2010. A Washington group has filed complaints against the congressman with both the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners for his relationships with patients and a congressional ethics committee.

DesJarlais had previously said the patient wasn't pregnant and there was no abortion. The woman testified she was pregnant but refused to answer whether she underwent the procedure.

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