Desjarlais has high hopes as he prepares for D.C.
Story by Gordon Boyd
JASPER, TN. (WRCB)-- Tennessee's fourth district congressman elect, is speaking to the media for the first time since his victory Tuesday night.
Scott Desjarlais will represent two dozen counties in Middle and East Tennessee.
The fourth district is the state's largest in term of square miles and it includes portions of Bledsoe, Grundy, Marion, and Sequatchie Counties.
Doctor Desjarlais' victory margin was pretty convincing, about 20 percentage points.
But he says the thought of how much the change he promised will change his life, the lives of his family and of his patients is still sinking in as his house call becomes the United States House of Representatives.
Scott Desjarlais has been Katie Gaylor's doctor for most of the 18 years he's practiced in Jasper.
"He's got a good personality, everybody loves him," says Katie Gaylor.
Gaylor adds, "We're gaining a congressman for sure, and probably losing a doctor."
But not necessarily.
Though Doctor Desjarlais is headed to D.C. with high hopes and big plans, he swears his life-style there will be 'bare bones.
Part of it is cost.
"I may initially, bunk out of my office," says Desjarlais.
Most of it, he says, goes back to his wife Amy and their children Tyler, Ryan, and Maggie.
"The schedule they're working on now is Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, so it'll be possible to return home on Thursday nights. So I can be home four nights a week. We can make that work," says Desjarlais.
If it does, he could work in some patients too.
"I was pretty sure he'd win," says Gaylor.
Desjarlais could count on his patients and folks at Grandview Medical Center- to stand-by when the campaign got nasty.
But Katie Gaylor believes the incumbent Lincoln Davis hurt himself by dredging up claims coming out of Doctor Desjarlais divorce from his first wife.
"The allegations were false but they were made to be fact. That was disappointing," says Desjarlais.
He credits his victory, in equal parts, to his own message and the country's call for change.
"This new class, is going to be the tip of the spear that Americans are counting on," says Desjarlais.
And he's sure they'll hold him accountable in two years.
Meantime, his practice is taking on another doctor to make sure Katie Gaylor and all of his patients don't lose their care.
"If he says she's okay, she's okay with me," says Gaylor.
Doctor Desjarlais' election helps shift the balance in Tennessee's Congressional Delegation from five to four democrats, to seven to two republicans.
He says he already has talked with most fellow republicans, including Governor-Elect Bill Haslam.