Incumbents DesJarlais, Fleischmann sweep 3rd, 4th District races in Tennessee

Incumbents DesJarlais, Fleischmann sweep 3rd, 4th District races in Tennessee

November 9th, 2016 by Steve Johnson in Local Regional News

U.S. Rep. Scott Desjarlais speaks at the La-Z-Boy furniture plant on Thursday, June 2, 2016, in Dayton, Tenn. The plant on Thursday marked 7 million hours without a lost work day case.

Photo by Doug Strickland /Times Free Press.

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U.S. Congressman Chuck Fleischmann speaks during a meeting with the Times Free Press editorial board and reporters in the newspaper's office Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015, in Chattanooga, Tenn.

U.S. Congressman Chuck Fleischmann speaks during a meeting...

Photo by Doug Strickland /Times Free Press.

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Southeast Tennessee's two incumbent Republican congressmen swept to easy victories Tuesday.

U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann was re-elected to his fourth term, defeating Democrat Melody Shekari in the 3rd District, 171,472 to 75,211, according to unofficial totals.

In the 4th District, U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais trounced Democrat Steven Reynolds by a similar margin.

"I am very thankful," Fleischmann said Tuesday evening. "For four terms now, all 11 counties in the district have voted for me."

He attributed his success to campaigning throughout the rural and urban parts of the district.

"The people of the 3rd District are overwhelmingly socially conservative, they are pro-life, they support the Second Amendment and our great traditional American values," Fleischmann said. "On the fiscal side, the people of the 3rd District want tax reform, less government regulation and a smaller, more efficient government."

The 3rd District race was low key, with Shekari conducting much of her campaign online, according to campaign manager Billy Joiner. The first-time candidate came closest to Fleischmann in Hamilton County, where she lost by about 55 percent to 40 percent.

Fleischmann supported GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, although he criticized Trump's remarks about women.

In the 4th District, DesJarlais led Reynolds 165,587 to 89,018, according to unofficial totals.

"It was a good win for us tonight," DesJarlais said Tuesday night. "This is certainly our biggest win in a general election."

DesJarlais, a South Pittsburgh physician, is a tea party member who won his 2014 primary contest in 2014 by only 38 votes. He significantly gained ground in the August primary, defeating challenger Grant Starrett by 4,000 votes.

Reynolds is a businessman who spent most of his life working in the construction materials industry.

DesJarlais said no matter who wins the presidential contest, he believes his constituents want to see Congress do more to address the nation's problems.

"We've got big problems with the health care law; it is not sustainable in current form," DesJarlais said. "A lot of people want to see border security happen, we have to strengthen our military and fix problems with the Veterans Administration. We've got to pass a balanced budget, we need tax reform.

"Regardless of who wins the presidency, people are sick and tired of business as usual in Washington."

Contact staff writer Steve Johnson, 423-757-6673, sjohnson@timesfreepress.com, on Twitter @stevejohnsonTFP, and on Facebook, www.facebook.com/noogahealth.