CTFP: Young challenger to Scott DesJarlais starting campaign with $500,000

One week after his campaign announcement, Republican Grant Starrett's 4th Congressional District effort is sitting on "over $504,000," including $250,000 the Murfreesboro attorney kicked in, according to Starrett's finance consultant.

In a memo to Starrett campaign finance chairman Lee Beaman, a Nashville auto dealership owner and prominent conservative, finance consultant Taylor Ferrell said Starrett is in a "strong financial position and is well on its way to having the necessary resources needed to spread Grant's pro-constitution, pro-taxpayer message throughout the Fourth Congressional District."

Starrett last week announced he is challenging U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn., in the 2016 GOP primary. DesJarlais survived a 2014 primary challenge from state Sen. Jim Tracy, R-Shelbyville, by just 38 votes, and was re-elected.

Ferrell said the "total adds to the strong momentum following Grant's announcement last week and the endorsements from Erick Erickson of RedState and other conservative bloggers."

Tracy has said he is weighing another race. DesJarlais, meanwhile, said he had a good fundraising effort in the first quarter.

The three-term congressman's fundraising suffered last cycle following the release of court transcripts revealing the South Pittsburg physician had affairs with patients and urged one to obtain an abortion as well as agreed to two abortions by his former wife.