DesJarlais Steadfast Despite Latest Complaint

Rep. Scott DesJarlais says he would have expected a primary challenge, even without the most recent ethics complaints. Photo via Flickr

Rep. Scott DesJarlais says he would have expected a primary challenge, even without the most recent ethics complaints. Photo via Flickr

Tennessee’s congressional delegation remains tight lipped about embattled congressman Scott DesJarlais. Just this week the watchdog group Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington filed its third complaint against the physician-lawmaker. DesJairlais remains ?undaunted.

While other lawmakers leave a Republican conference meeting chatting with colleagues, DesJarlais saunters off alone. Walking in the basement of the Capitol, he’s resolute, even in the face of the latest ethics charge lobbed against him, this one alleging he lied to the public about a past mistress.

DesJarlais says voters had all the facts and still supported him.

“Like anything, there’s two sides to every story. And this is all very remote history.”

A few recognizable names in Tennessee Republican circles are already toying with the idea of a primary challenge. But DesJarlais says he isn’t fazed.

“I would expect regardless of being attacked again this cycle that I would probably have Republican challengers.”

The outgoing head of the National Republican Congressional Committee is Pete Sessions. Asked if the Republican Party should stand by DesJarlais, he says “that’s not the issue.”

“The issue is Scott DesJarlais and him handling his issues. And I think he’s run numerous elections and has explained to people back home.”

The 2014 contest will come down to those “people back home” – especially Republican primary voters.

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