Tracy Concedes Squeaker Election Loss To DesJarlais

Monday, August 25, 2014

State Senator Jim Tracy on Monday conceded a squeaker election loss to incumbent Scott DesJarlais for the 4th District U.S. House seat.

He said, "I am announcing my decision about whether or not to file a contest of the August 7th Republican Primary for the Fourth Congressional District. When I started this campaign, my goal was to offer the citizens of the 4th District a choice in who to represent them in Congress. I presented my plan to offer conservative, effective leadership, and my opponents offered theirs. And after over 75,000 votes were cast in the Republican Primary, less than 40 votes separated the incumbent Congressman and me.

"Our campaign staff and volunteers have been diligently gathering and analyzing information from all 16 counties in the District. Through the Secretary of State's Office, as well as directly, we have communicated with the County Election Commissions. Our staff has attended many of the meetings at which Election Commissions counted provisional ballots, as well the meetings at which the Election Commissions certified the votes in all of the August 7th elections. A great deal of information has come to me through formal and informal sources.

"For example, there were votes by people who were not on the rolls and should have cast provisional ballots, but voted on machines so there was no way to determine whether those were legal votes. There were voters who were not given ballots for the primary election, but only for the General Election. There are counties that are split between the Fourth District and a different district, either the Seventh or the Third, and we know of at least one voter who was given a ballot for the wrong Congressional District. We know of a voter who was told that he had already voted, when he had not, which leads to the inference that other voters were told the same thing and did not take the time to assert their rights.

"We have consulted with knowledgeable people, and I have consulted with my family and, most importantly I have prayed for guidance. In the end, the decision of whether or not to file a contest was mine and mine alone.

"I have decided to refrain from contesting this election. I am not willing to put the State Republican Primary Board, the Secretary of State's Office and Division of Elections, the County Election Commissions, the campaign staff, my volunteers, my family and the public through additional weeks of litigation, with uncertainty as to who the nominee will be.

"State law provides that ballots must be ready to send out to military, overseas and other absentee voters 45 days before the November election, and I am not willing to put them in a difficult position. A contest would not be the right thing for the Republican Party and the conservative cause in Tennessee. Contests of primary elections are extremely compressed. The Fourth District is geographically widespread. Under state law, if there is a recount, all votes in every county must be recounted, even in counties where we are confident that the counts were accurate. A recount does not uncover votes that were illegal or that were illegally kept from being cast. These factors weigh against a contest.

"I assure the public that the Secretary of State's office, and the Division of Elections in that office, have been responsive, fair and objective and have done their job in an exemplary way. That office is in the best of hands. Chairman Chris Devaney, the staff and the counsel for the Tennessee Republican Primary Board went into action immediately after Election Night to prepare for a contest, and I thank them. I am forever grateful to my family, staff, volunteers, contributors, and the voters who placed their faith in me and have encouraged me throughout the campaign and in this decision-making period. I also want to comment that the press has reported fairly, neutrally and calmly, and I sincerely appreciate their demeanor.

"I have called Rep. DesJarlais to inform him of my decision to concede and congratulated him. One reason why I am at peace about my decision is that I am devoted to my service as the Senator from the Fourteenth Senatorial District of Tennessee. Serving the people of the Fourteenth District and helping to make Tennessee a better place to live, work, do business and go to school is a high honor. I will continue to serve in the Senate with dedication, energy and integrity. Much is at stake for our country and our state; I look forward to helping us meet the challenges ahead."

Rep. DesJarlais said, "I want to thank the people of Tennessee's Fourth Congressional District for once again putting their faith in my ability to serve them; I promise I will never take that trust for granted. I am glad we can now come together as Republicans and start focusing on the general election in November.”

State Republican Party Chairman Chris Devaney said, "Republicans officially have a nominee in the Fourth Congressional District. I want to thank Jim Tracy for his solid leadership. While this certainly wasn’t an easy decision in such a close campaign, it is now time for Republicans to come together and support our Fourth District Congressman Scott DesJarlais. Congressman DesJarlais has been a strong voice against ObamaCare, wasteful federal spending, and big government programs. We're ready to help him get back to Congress for another two years."

Lenda Sherrell, the Democratic nominee for Tennessee’s 4th Congressional District, said, “I wish to congratulate Scott DesJarlais and look forward to a robust general election season where my opponent and I can share our competing views with voters and the solutions needed to improve their lives.

“I also want to thank the election volunteers, workers and officials who work tirelessly to make sure every eligible vote is properly counted. Their dedication and commitment to the citizens of all 16 counties is to be commended. I am grateful to be living in a democracy where each vote is sacred and therefore protected.”





Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: BENTLEY, ASHA LANAY 2600 CAMPBELL STREET CHATTANOOGA, 37406 24 Chattanooga ASSAULT CRIMINAL IMPERSONATION BOWMAN, CARLON DONTEZ 1812 S WILLOW ST CHATTANOOGA, 37404 24 Hamilton County DRIVING ON SUSPENDED LICENSE CANNON, BRETT MATTHEW 7712 HOLLIDAY HILLS CIR CHATTANOOAG, 37416 ... (click for more)

Harrison Man Charged In Sullivan County Drug Thefts

A Harrison man has been indicted by a Grand Jury in Sullivan County on 61 counts of narcotics by fraud and theft charges. The Kingsport Police Department said Michael Todd Burkhart, 48, of Bayshore Drive, was a former nurse at Kingsport. He was charged in connection with missing medication from the Cath Lab of a Kingsport hospital. Police said in September 2013, the pharmacy ... (click for more)

Shelley Andrews Will Be Missed - And Response

Shelley Andrews was one of the kindest, most thoughtful and most effective laborers in our community.  Her work with the Friends of Moccasin Bend was exemplary.  She listened, she learned and she led with dignity and class. Her brave battle with ovarian cancer was a testament to her positive spirit and commitment to her work on behalf of the people of this region. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: This One’s For ‘Grifter’

Back in October of 2013 a Facebook page called “OAF Nation” was created to “boost the morale” of the heroes who make up our nation’s military.” It was tongue-in-cheek satire, putting funny captions on every-day pictures that showed members of the Army, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard as they defended our country. Our fighting men and women loved it. It quickly went viral and today ... (click for more)

Running A Blessing In Disguise For Russ Rogers

You’ve heard plenty of stories about how running has changed a person’s life and the difference it has made on their overall outlook. Such is surely the case with Russ Rogers, but that simple activity has done more than change his life.   He’s quick to explain that it saved his life at a time when nothing else seemed to work. Russ is the 35-year-old son of ... (click for more)

UTC Softball Team Prepares for 2015 Season

It’s nine days to the season opener – Plainsman Invite (Auburn, Ala.) – and the UTC Indoor Softball Facility at Warner Park was alive with the sounds of batting and infield practice Wednesday afternoon as the 20 Lady Moc players plus coaches were on hand for 2015 Media Day. Located in their familiar spot as pre-season Southern Conference favorites, UTC returns a strong ... (click for more)