State Sen. Jim Tracy was scheduled to announce his candidacy for the 4th District U.S. House of Representatives today at a midday press conference in Murfreesboro.
The election will be held in 2014.
Tracy, a Republican from Shelbyville, will run for the seat currently held by Republican Scott DesJarlais, a physician from South Pittsburg. He's the second Republican to announce interest in challenging DesJarlais for the seat, with the current session of Congress not even started yet.
Tracy is an insurance agent and a former Bedford County school board member. He chairs the Senate Transportation Committee and is a member of the Senate Education Committee. He is a member of Shelbyville Rotary Club and Fairlane Church of Christ, where he serves as a deacon.
"As a small business owner and family man, I am the most qualified to represent the values of the 4th Congressional District," said Tracy in a press packet issued in connection with the announcement.
DesJarlais won easy re-election in November, defeating Democratic challenger Eric Stewart of Winchester.
But -- in the latter days of the campaign and since the election -- DesJarlais has been the subject of discussion surrounding his admitted extramarital relationship with a patient in 2000.
Critics have said the relationship violated medical ethics and that DesJarlais, who has run on an anti-abortion platform, encouraged the patient to have an abortion. DesJarlais has dismissed the complaints as old and irrelevant to his current service.
In addition, redistricting which became effective in the 2012 election cycle moved Bedford County and populous Rutherford County into the 4th district, making it the center of the district's population and opening the door for candidates with Rutherford County ties.
Last month, State Rep. Joe Carr of Lascassas announced the formation of an exploratory committee.
The 4th district includes 16 counties in southern Middle Tennessee stretching into East Tennessee.