Friday, November 18, 2011

Let the TN Election Season begin!

State Sen. Eric Stewart declares bid for Congress
1:15 AM, Nov. 18, 2011

State Sen. Eric Stewart announced Thursday that he is running for the 4th Congressional District, taking on first-term incumbent Rep. Scott DesJarlais.

Stewart, a Democrat who has represented the 14th Senate district since 2009, said there is widespread dissatisfaction with DesJarlais, a Republican physician with no prior political experience who pulled off a surprising win last November over Democratic Rep. Lincoln Davis.“I actually think across this district there’s some buyer’s remorse about who they sent up there to serve them,” Stewart said. “They’re pretty disgusted with what’s been going on up in D.C. on both sides of the aisle.”

Stewart, who won’t run again for his Senate seat, is entering the race even though state lawmakers are still redesigning the 4th District. It currently stretches from Lawrence County on the Alabama border to Campbell County on the Kentucky border. Stewart currently represents seven counties within the 4th Congressional District, and his home of Franklin County borders DesJarlais’ home of Marion County.

“I feel pretty confident that Franklin County will remain in the 4th District, as well as most of my state Senate seat,” Stewart said.

DesJarlais has not yet set up a campaign organization, an adviser said. The congressman said in a statement that he is focused on efforts in Congress to reduce the nation’s $15 trillion debt.“My focus is on the upcoming supercommittee recommendation and how to best reduce our national debt,” DesJarlais said in a statement. “There will be a time to focus on the campaign, but it isn’t now.”