4th congressional district

Democratic congressional candidate denies defrauding Catholic group

A candidate for the Democratic nomination to challenge Republican U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-South Pittsburg) is denying allegations he defrauded a progressive Catholic organization for which he once served as executive director.

Christopher Hale, who once ran the Washington-based Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, told the Catholic News Agency “the idea that I drove the organization into bankruptcy or defrauded it is just fundamentally not true. I kept the organization going.”

The comments were in response to allegations made by James Salt, a former board member, who said Hale “did a great disservice to everyone who has worked with him.”

Salt says Hale misled the board about financial records and once falsely told colleagues he was having surgery as a reason for missing work. Hale was fired in 2017 and the group was dissolved, Salt said, but not before allegedly making off with the organization’s mailing and donor lists he later used to start a new initiative called The Francis Project.

Hale told CNA he was not fired, but rather left on good terms to pursue “different adventures in life.”

Hale faces Noelle Bivens in Thursday’s Democratic primary.

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DesJarlais spurns debate with GOP challenger who voted for Clinton (as Rush Limbaugh suggested)

U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais has turned down a debate challenge from Republican challenger Jack Maddux in the 4th Congressional District on grounds he has voted for Hillary Clinton and is thus not a credible candidate, reports the Cleveland Daily Banner.  Maddux acknowledges he did so, but says that was at the request of radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh.

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Democratic challenger to U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais gets Wall Street Journal attention

In an article with a Chapel Hill, Tenn., dateline, the Wall Street Journal cites Mariah Phillips as an example of Democrats “fielding challengers for nearly every Republican U.S. House incumbent this year—a change from the last midterm election in 2014, when 36 Republicans won re-election without facing a general election opponent.” She’s running in the 4th Congressional District, now held by Republican Rep. Scott DesJarlais.

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