Jim Tracy raises $436,485 for fight against DesJarlais

photo State senator Jim Tracy speaks in this file photo.
photo Scott DesJarlais

NASHVILLE - Republican state Sen. Jim Tracy's congressional campaign says the Shelbyville lawmaker raised nearly $436,485 during the first quarter in his bid to oust "scandal-ridden" U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn., in the 2014 primary.

Tracy has raised more than twice the $205,000 that state Rep. Joe Carr, R-Lascassas, said last week his exploratory committee has amassed.

And Tracy said he still has $400,000 in cash on hand after expenses.

Tracy's finance chairman, Shane Reeves, said in a news release Sunday the senator's "robust fundraising totals coupled with his strong grass-roots organization put him in the best position to defeat the scandal-ridden incumbent."

DesJarlais, a Jasper physician, has been targeted by Tennessee Republicans. Court records showed the congressman, who has touted his anti-abortion views, encouraged a patient with whom he had an affair to get an abortion in 2000. Further documents showed DesJarlais supported his ex-wife's two abortions in the 1990s.

Campaign finance reports for the Jan. 1-March 30 period are due today to the Federal Election Commission.

DesJarlais last month held a major fundraiser in Washington. He has yet to release his first-quarter report.

But Tracy's campaign noted the senator's first-quarter figures far exceed the $68,000 DesJarlais reported in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Reeves said Tracy's figures "speak volumes."

"The citizens of the 4th Congressional District want a conservative in word and deed. A person with high morals and good character, someone that they can trust to vote the right way and do the right thing," he said in the news release.

Contact staff writer Andy Sher at 615-255-0550 or asher@timesfreepress.com.