Report: Medical PACs abandon DesJarlais for future bid

DesJarlais collected $71,000 from health industry PACs during his last bid for congress, 20 percent of the overall $400,000 he collected from PACs this cycle, but according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press, at least six of those won't donate to the congressman again in 2014.

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The American Academy of Neurology, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the BlueCross BlueShield Association, Unum and the American Association of Neurological Surgeons all either outright told the paper they would not contribute or indicated they were unlikely to do so.

The congressman has faced backlash following the release of salacious details surrounding a decade-old divorce. It was found that DesJarlais, a staunch anti-abortion-rights, social conservative candidate, supported his wife's two abortions and urged a mistress to receive one, and that he had multiple affairs with patients and a drug industry representative.

“Given the new revelations,” Unum spokesman Jim Sabourin told the Free Press, “I think it’s safe to say our PAC would not continue to support Rep. DesJarlais.”


DesJarlais won reelection to his 4th district seat this year by 12 points, despite Democratic efforts to highlight details surrounding one of his past affairs. The district is heavily Republican, and while a Democratic candidate is unlikely to prevail against the lawmaker in 2014, he's sure to face a primary challenge.

One possible challenger, state Rep. Kevin Brooks (R), announced last week that he was considering a run.