DesJarlais declares 'victory' in Tennesse - with 35 vote margin

An incredibly close race in Tennessee where scandal plagued congressman Scott DesJarlais holds a 35 vote lead over state senator Jim Tracy. Desjariais has declared victory, but it seems a certainty that there will be a recount.


The Tennessean reported that DesJarlais declared victory Friday night but the results likely won’t be finalized for several weeks.

A spokesperson for Tracy said he won’t concede until the results are finalized, according to the Tennessean.

The lead has see-sawed since polls closed Thursday evening. At one point earlier Friday, the AP totals had Tracy ahead by just a two-vote margin.

DesJarlais is a physician and two-term House member who has been accused of sleeping with his patients and encouraging his ex-wife to have two abortions.

The initial reports about DesJarlais’ scandal emerged in October 2012, after he had been renominated by Republicans in the solidly red district. DesJarlais won reelection a month later with 56 percent of the vote.

Tracy, a state senator, challenged DesJarlais immediately in January 2013, earning more endorsements and outraising the incumbent roughly 3 to 1. But Republicans have credited DesJarlais’ contrition with keeping him in the race.

DesJariais can be as contrite as he thinks will win him votes, but it doesn't excuse his actions. Sleeping with your patients is reprehensible. And what about this supposedly pro-life congressman telling his wife to get not one, but two abortions?

I guess the people of his district don't mind the hypocisy. But why inflict this low life on the rest of us?  DesJariais in Congress will be a constant reminder that when it comes to grossly inappropriate behavior, sleaze has no party ID or specific ideology.

If you experience technical problems, please write to