By ERIK SCHELZIG

Associated Press

NASHVILLE, TN (AP) - Scandal-plagued Tennessee Rep. Scott DesJarlais defied expectations of a blowout defeat in his bid for a another term, instead emerging from the Republican primary with a razor-thin margin that left the race too close to call.

With all precincts reporting, DesJarlais and challenger Jim Tracy were separated by a 33-vote margin, illustrating the willingness of the incumbent's tea party base to overlook his personal problems that included once urging a mistress to seek an abortion.

The final result of Thursday's election may drag out until the end the month.

In the other high-profile Tennessee primary contest, Republican Lamar Alexander became the latest U.S. senator to fend off a tea party challenge, defeating a state representative who had used a familiar tactic in trying to cast him as an out of touch insider.

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