Embattled DesJarlais kicks off bid for 3rd term

WINCHESTER, Tenn. (AP) – Republican U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais is kicking off his bid for a third term in office short on campaign cash and facing two formidable opponents from within his own party.

DesJarlais launched his re-election on Wednesday from the steps of the courthouse in Winchester, as about 100 supporters huddled under umbrellas.

He got his loudest cheer for pledging to continue to fight President Barack Obama’s health care law.

DesJarlais dismissed attention to personal issues that have plagued his political career. DesJarlais, who was reprimanded and fined by the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners in May for having sex with patients before he was elected, said those events have no bearing on his performance in office.

DesJarlais faces state Rep. Joe Carr and state Sen. Jim Tracy in the GOP primary.