DesJarlais gets first primary challenge

Tennessee state Sen. Jim Tracy (R) announced on Wednesday that he plans to mount a primary challenge against Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.) in 2014, the first of what's expected to be a number of Tennessee Republicans launching bids against the embattled incumbent.

DesJarlais has received scrutiny after details surrounding his divorce and a series of affairs, including some with patients and a drug-industry representative, became public.

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Though aspects of the scandal, which raised doubts about his proclaimed anti-abortion-rights stances, came out during the campaign, DesJarlais won reelection in his safely red district by almost 12 percentage points.

But going into 2014, Tennessee Republicans have said they expect DesJarlais to see a primary challenge, and Tracy is the first to announce his bid.

“I am a conservative in word and deed. I have lived my life both personally and professionally in a way that is consistent with my core conservative values,” he said in a statement announcing his candidacy, according to the Tennesseean. “I promise that I will never embarrass you with my personal conduct or compromise on my conservative principles.”

Tracy ran for the GOP nomination in Tennessee's 6th district in 2010, finishing third.

Tennessee state Rep. Kevin Brooks (R) has also expressed interest in a run, but has not yet made a bid official.

--This post has been updated.