NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Although it is unclear exactly how many provisional ballots remain uncounted in Tennessee’s 4th Congressional District’s Republican primary, the ballots counted so far make an upset look increasingly unlikely.
Scandal-battered U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais held a 35-vote lead over state Sen. Jim Tracy in unofficial results from last week’s election.
On Tuesday, Marshall County Elections Administrator Tristan Arnold said officials there had counted 13 provisional ballots, but only three were for the Republican primary. Two were for DesJarlais and none for Tracy.
In Rhea (RAY’) County, there was one ballot cast for Tracy, and in Franklin County there was one ballot cast for DesJarlais.
At least five other counties have some provisional ballots remaining.
If he wins, DesJarlais will have survived a scandal in which it was revealed that the Jasper physician had multiple affairs with patients, urged a pregnant girlfriend to have an abortion and used a gun to intimidate his first wife. DesJarlais was first elected in 2010 on a conservative family-values platform, and he had previously tried to cast doubt on reports of affairs and abortions.
Court documents released shortly after the 2012 election validated those reports. Last year, the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners fined and reprimanded DesJarlais for having sex with patients.
Tracy raised far more money than DesJarlais, but DesJarlais’ tea party base appeared willing to overlook his personal scandals. In a statement released after Thursday’s primary voting, DesJarlais said that Tennesseans chose to judge him on his record in Washington.
During the campaign, he stressed issues like the Affordable Care Act and the assault on a U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
The election results must be certified by Aug. 25, and the losing candidate will have up to five days to file a challenge.
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