DesJarlais triumphs in primary by 38 votes

Rep. Scott DesJarlais’s (R-Tenn.) primary challenger, state Sen. Jim Tracy, conceded to the incumbent on Monday, two weeks after the congressman finished ahead with a razor-thin margin.

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Tracy had been contemplating a challenge to the primary election, after official results showed DesJarlais the winner by just 38 votes. But he said in a statement issued Monday he had decided against such a step.

“A contest would not be the right thing for the Republican party and the conservative cause in Tennessee,” Tracy said.

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

DesJarlais was initially considered highly vulnerable in his primary, due to lurid details of a divorce that became public shortly before he was reelected in 2012.

His divorce papers revealed he had encouraged an ex-wife to get multiple abortions, details that were in contrast to the family-values image he had cultivated on the campaign trail.

But the incumbent had managed to put enough time and distance between his reelection fight and the revelations to eke out a win.

DesJarlais is expected to easily win reelection this fall. 

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