Dunn latest to keep distance from DesJarlais

Friday, October 19, 2012, Vol. 36, No. 42

NASHVILLE (AP) - Add former Gov. Winfield Dunn to the list of prominent Tennessee Republicans maintaining a careful distance from embattled U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais following revelations the congressman once urged a woman he had an affair with to seek an abortion.

Dunn has been an active campaigner for Republican candidates and causes since leaving office in 1975. But he told reporters after a news conference about the launch of the bipartisan Campaign to Fix the Debt Tennessee on Wednesday that he had not been asked to campaign on DesJarlais' behalf.

Dunn acknowledged DesJarlais had some "serious personal problems in the past" but hoped the congressman would be able to put them behind him.

DesJarlais has said he only used stark language to persuade the woman to admit she wasn't pregnant.