Carr Throws Exploratory Hat in DesJarlais Ring

State Rep. Joe Carr of Lascassas says he is exploring whether to run against Congressman Scott DesJarlais. He has set no timetable to make a decision. Photo courtesy TN Photo Services

State Rep. Joe Carr of Lascassas says he is exploring whether to run against Congressman Scott DesJarlais. He has set no timetable to make a decision. Photo courtesy TN Photo Services

A state representative from Rutherford County is the first to take formal steps toward challenging Congressman Scott DesJarlais in a Republican primary. Joe Carr announced an exploratory committee Thursday.

The new congress has yet to be sworn in. But since DesJarlais was re-elected in November, much more has come out about his participation in abortions. Court transcripts also show the physician from Jasper sleeping with patients.

State Rep. Carr is already making the next congressional campaign about what he calls “family values,” saying voters want someone who practices what they preach.

“Maybe what the congressman mistakes is forgiveness for trust. I can forgive you for doing such a thing, but that doesn’t mean the trust is there that was in place before these events happened.”

Carr’s exploratory committee is chaired by one of Nashville’s biggest Republican fundraisers – Lee Beaman, CEO of Beaman Automotive. He also happened to be one of DesJarlais’ biggest donors. This year, according to FEC filings, Beaman and his wife gave a combined $15,000 to DesJarlais and his campaign committee.

Other names have been floated to challenge DesJarlais but none has established an exploratory committee.

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