Rep. Joe Carr on Tuesday morning announced that he will run against Lamar Alexander for the U.S. Senate - rather than try to unseat Congressman Scott DesJarlais in the Fourth District. He said the decision follows "months of pleas from conservative activists along with House and Senate members of the Tennessee General Assembly."
His staff said, "All across Tennessee the citizens of Tennessee have been urging Carr to challenge Lamar Alexander for the Republican nomination.
Rep. Carr said, “Ginny and I have been humbled beyond measure by the outpouring of prayer, encouragement and financial support in our run for Congress. Time and time again those same people have said; ‘Our nation is in crisis, and the American dream is slipping away. We need somebody who will fight for us. Will you please run against Lamar Alexander?’ After serious thought and prayer, as well as repeated requests, I felt compelled to answer the call and enter the race for United States Senate. Conservatives deserve a clear voice in this election, and conservative champions like Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and Rand Paul need a strong ally from Tennessee in the U.S. Senate.
“Since I first announced my congressional exploratory committee eight months ago I have received literally hundreds and hundreds of requests from Tennesseans asking me to run for the US Senate instead of the U.S. House. Tennesseans are hungry for strong, principled, conservative leadership, so I am answering the call.
"Lamar Alexander has failed to advance the conservative movement and change Washington. He voted for amnesty for 11 million illegals, supported funding Obamacare and rubber stamped Obama‘s appointments to cabinet level positions and the Supreme Court. Voting with President Obama 62 percent of the time is unacceptable. He’s become part of the problem. The only way to change the culture in Washington, is to change the men and women we send there.
“I will advance the conservative movement in Washington. I will fight for the Constitution and the first principles that made our country great: personal responsibility, individual liberty, and limited government. I will stand firm in defense of the 2nd amendment and insure that life of the unborn have a strong and vocal advocate. The Judeo Christian values that helped frame this nation are under constant attack and it’s time we had somebody from Tennessee in Washington who is willing to fight back for those first principles that founded this great nation.”
Lee Beaman, who will serve as Rep. Carr’s state campaign chairman, praised the decision and highlighted Rep. Carr’s accomplished record in the state House. “From the beginning, several of us on the exploratory committee urged Rep. Carr to run for the U.S. Senate. He led the fight to curb illegal immigration, abolish the death tax and protect the 2nd amendment, and we know he’ll lead from the front and change Washington.”
Rep. Carr said, “I have no illusions. This is David versus Goliath. But I have extraordinary faith in my fellow Tennesseans. They will see through the spin and the rhetoric and recognize they have a clear choice to elect a conservative fighter. I will work tirelessly, and I will give my all for Tennessee.”
Rep. Carr, a 1981 graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, is a business consultant who helps companies become more energy efficient. Additionally, he and his wife Ginny own and operate Cedar Snag Farms in Lascassas. He was elected to the Tennessee General Assembly in 2008 and currently serves as Chairman of the Local Government subcommittee. He is a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association, a member of the National Federation of Independent Business, Tennessee Right to Life, Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce and the MTSU Blue Raider Athletic Association. He is also an accomplished private pilot and member of the Aircraft Owners & Pilot Association.
Rep. Carr and Ginny, married for 30 years, have three children: Erin, Maddie and Joe, Jr. Ginny and Joe also have a grandson, Colby. Rep. Carr has lived in Rutherford County since he was a young boy and his family roots go back five generations in Rutherford County. Joe, Ginny and Joe Jr. are members of Believers Chapel in Murfreesboro.
Rep. DesJarlais said, “Regardless of the final slate of candidates, I plan on running solely on my independent record in Congress. For me this race has never been about political ambitions. Rather, I am seeking another term because I believe the people of the Fourth District deserve a strong, conservative voice in Washington that will always put principle before politics.”