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October 22, 2014

DesJarlais Wins by 38 Votes, Jim Tracy Concedes (Video)

DesJarlais Wins by 38 Votes, Jim Tracy Concedes (Video)

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Scott DesJarlais has officially won his primary, barely squeaking past state Sen. Jim Tracy, who conceded Monday after more than two tense weeks following Tennessee’s Republican primary in the 4th District.

“A contest would not be the right thing for the Republican party and the conservative cause in Tennessee,” Tracy said in a statement detailing why he decided not to contest the results.

“I have called Rep. DesJarlais to inform him of my decision to concede and congratulated him,” Tracy continued.

Tracy trailed DesJarlais by 38 votes after all of the votes from the Aug. 7 primary were certified.

DesJarlais’ 38-vote victory is one of the slimmest congressional primary victories anywhere in the country in recent memory.

DesJarlais was among the most vulnerable House incumbents this cycle, thanks to personal scandal that dried up his fundraising ability and made him a pariah among some of his peers in the Tennessee delegation. Proceedings from a 2001 divorce arose in October of 2012, revealing that the anti-abortion lawmaker had encouraged an ex-wife and former mistress to have multiple abortions.

Tracy raised $1.4 million for his primary challenge, allowing him to out-spend DesJarlais by a more than 3-to-1 margin in the race.

But many voters had forgiven DesJarlais for his past indiscretions.

With DesJarlais’ primary win, he’s virtually guaranteed re-election this November in this district, which voted for GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney with 65 percent in 2012.

Tennessee’s 4th District is rated a Safe Republican contest by The Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

 

Related stories:

What’s Next in Tennessee Primary?

The 10 Most Vulnerable House Members

Scott DesJarlais’ Re-Election Hopes Rise, Despite Abortion Scandal 

Roll Call Election Map: Race Ratings for Every Seat

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