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Joe Carr

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Joe Carr
Joe Carr.jpg
Current candidacy
Running for U.S. Senate, Tennessee
Date of primaryAugust 7, 2014
General electionNovember 4, 2014
Current office
Tennessee House Of Representatives District 48
In office
Term ends
November 4, 2014
Years in position 7
Base salary$20,203/year
Per diem$188/legislative day
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First elected2008
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sMiddle Tennessee State University, 1981
Date of birthMarch 25, 1958
ProfessionBusiness Owner
Office website
Campaign website
Joe Carr (b. March 25, 1958) is a Republican member of the Tennessee House of Representatives, representing District 48. He was first elected to the chamber in 2008.

He ran for election to the U.S. Senate, representing Tennessee in 2014. He is challenging Senator Lamar Alexander (R) after initially considering a run for the U.S. House of Representatives representing Tennessee's 4th District.[1][2]


Carr earned his B.S. from Middle Tennessee State University in 1981. He is the owner of both Virtual Edge, LLC and Cedar Snag Farms.

Committee assignments


At the beginning of the 2013 legislative session, Carr served on the following committees:

Tennessee Committee Assignments, 2013
Government Operations
Local Government
Government Operations


In the 2011-2012 legislative session, Carr served on these committees:


In the 2009-2010 legislative session, Carr served on these committees:


Campaign themes


Carr’s website highlights the following campaign themes:[3]

1. Constitutional Rights We must never forget that many of our country’s founders sacrificed their lives and fortunes in order to secure our basic human rights – which are enumerated in our Constitution. Our rights come from God—not man—and our founders designed our foundational documents to protect and defend these God-given rights. The one constitutional right that safeguards all other rights is the second amendment – the right to bear arms. As a lifetime member of the NRA and Gun Owners of America, I pledge to promote, protect and defend every law-abiding Americans’ ability to keep and bear arms for personal safety, to defend their property, and to enjoy hunting and sporting. I will also fight to defend the 2nd amendment to protect our liberty in the event we ever find ourselves fighting against a tyrannical government to uphold our sacred honor.

2. Budget and Spending I believe it is vital to our nation’s survival that the federal government not just reduce spending, but that we enact absolute spending caps. That’s what we do here in Tennessee, and that’s why we have a AAA credit rating and a “rainy day” fund of over $450 million. As your Senator I will push hard for repealing or defunding Obamacare. We the people will no longer tolerate wasteful federal bailout programs like the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) or any other wasteful program that increases the federal deficit and debt. Washington must learn from Tennessee how to balance its budget.

3. National Debt Limiting the size of the federal government is key to saving our nation’s financial future. We have too many programs, departments and too much bureaucracy. Future generations may fail to enjoy the freedom and prosperity we have due to out-of-control government spending and crushing regulations. A combination of eliminating outdated and redundant programs and departments as well as allowing the private sector to perform certain needed duties will go a long way toward getting our country financially solvent.

4. Jobs and the Economy No new taxes. Period. Our problem is not enough revenue. Our problem is overspending and a failure of leadership in Washington. The burden of the federal government’s spending binge and mismanagement must not be upon hard-working American taxpayers. I will oppose any new taxes and higher taxes. A balanced budget, lower taxes (our corporate tax rate is among the highest in the world) and predictable regulatory environment will create a solid foundation for job growth and economic resurgence. One of the keys to reviving our economy is cutting our budget deficit. Our short-term and long-term fiscal viability is threatened due to continued deficit spending. Unfunded liabilities, projected spending increases and an uncertain economy all add up to a financial disaster if we fail to act responsibly now. Promoting free and fair trade, repealing or defunding Obamacare, repealing the Dodd-Frank Act and reigning in the EPA are just a few of the arenas where I will fight to get us back on the right path.

5. Education Competition promotes achievement, and parental choice leads to more involvement, understanding and skin in the game. Empowering the states to manage their education systems rather than the federal government is the best way to help our children become more competitive globally. I have no confidence in federal education programs where one-size-fits-all and social engineering are more important than the three Rs. The last thing we need is the federal government running our schools like they run our government. Expanding private school accessibility, lifting caps on charter schools, and expanding public school choice are the options that Tennessee families need to help their children receive the best education possible, and these are the education issues I will fight for as your Senator.

6. Energy We must drill offshore, drill domestically, curb the EPA and reform the permitting process for nuclear energy production. Taking these steps will help us become more energy independent from regions of the world that do not share our pro-freedom interests. We possess all of the energy resources we need right here in America, and it’s unacceptable that leaders in Washington have succumbed to environmental extremism, anti-capitalist legislation and political correctness and made us dependent on energy sources from other countries. The Department of Energy (DOE), enabled by liberal elected officials in Washington, has become the primary culprit for reducing our energy independence. The DOE has spent billions on researching alternative energy sources that are not commercially viable or cost effective. The federal government must not be in the business of picking winners and losers by funding risky companies such as Solyndra and Fisker with taxpayer dollars. That enables cronyism, and there’s enough of that in Washington already.

7. Family and Religion Marriage is under assault and should be defended as an institution that provides the best environment for creating strong families which leads to a successful culture and civilization. Marriage between a man and woman reduces the likelihood of child poverty by eighty-two percent. That is a sobering statistic–especially when every politician says they are interested in protecting children. Our culture has gotten off course, and the best way to build a strong America is by strengthening marriage in the home. If our federal government is really interested in a positive, healthy and prosperous country then our leaders must promote marriage and religious freedom. Our founders lived by Judeo-Christian beliefs and principles, and we must protect these core beliefs that shaped our nation and created the freest people in the world. I will focus on these areas as part of the first principles of personal responsibility and individual liberty.

8. Pro-Life I am 100% pro-life and my voting record reflects the same. As adoptive parents, my wife Ginny and I believe strongly in promoting adoption as well. I believe our self-evident rights, as enumerated in the Constitution, come from God—not from government, and that it’s the governments’ responsibility to protect our God-given rights. I believe those rights extend to the unborn.

9. Healthcare Repealing or defunding Obamacare is at the top of my priority list of things to accomplish as your Senator. This one watershed piece of legislation is wreaking more havoc on our economy while simultaneously reducing the quality of healthcare than any one piece of legislation in modern history. The last thing Tennesseans need is for the federal government to dictate their healthcare at the federal level. Healthcare decisions are best made between the patient, their physician and their family–not government bureaucrats. Skyrocketing government spending on Medicare is not helping patients. On the contrary, it’s harming our economic future. The effect of Obamacare is that it is driving hard-working doctors and nurses out of the healthcare profession. The inevitable result is a shortage of doctors who are unable to deliver affordable quality healthcare. Obamacare must be repealed.

10. Immigration I fully support immigration. America is the most generous country on earth when it comes to granting immigrants access to the American dream. However, illegal immigration is turning that dream into a nightmare as illegals stream over our southern border in search of both jobs and free benefits that are paid for by hard-working Americans. The Constitution requires the federal government to secure our borders, and too many of our leaders in Washington have not upheld their oath and funded border security. I will advocate funding border security, rejecting amnesty proposals and strengthening interior enforcement such as e-verify. For years Tennessee families have shouldered the costs of illegal immigration. I will take the experience and passion I have for protecting Tennesseans from illegal immigration to Washington as your Senator. We also must reform our immigration policy to ensure we are attracting the best and brightest minds around the world and protecting our citizens from individuals who want to harm us. A successful immigration policy begins with enforcement of existing laws and respect for the rule of law.

11. Taxes The top ten percent of earners pay seventy percent of federal income taxes. Under any definition, that’s unfair. For starters, we should lower the corporate tax and make Bush-era tax reform permanent. I believe in the flat tax and a tax environment that encourages and rewards initiative, investment, hard work and success.

12. Foreign Policy The essence of successful American foreign policy has always focused on protecting our best interests, supporting our allies and defending and promoting freedom. We must never agree to a treaty that diminishes our sovereignty, and we should impose strict criteria for granting foreign aid. We need to invest in peace by implementing the Reagan philosophy of building our military and economic strength. A powerful military and vibrant economy increases our standing in the world and the platform of freedom. War must always be our last resort. However, I agree with Thomas Jefferson that “the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

13. Veterans My father was an Air Force fighter pilot, and he’s my hero. Our veterans sacrifice so much for our country, and we must provide them the best healthcare and support we can possibly give them. We will never be able to repay them for their sacrifices, but that reality must not stop us from doing our best to care for them and their families. [4]

—Joe Carr,


Involvement in Syria

According to a report by The Hill in September 2013, Carr was among four Republican senate candidates who had come out against intervening in Syria while the incumbent challenger, in this case Lamar Alexander, remained undecided.[5]

Presidential preference


See also: Endorsements by state officials of presidential candidates in the 2012 election

Joe Carr endorsed Newt Gingrich in the 2012 presidential election. [6]



See also: United States Senate elections in Tennessee, 2014

Carr ran in the 2014 election for the U.S. Senate, representing Tennessee. Carr sought the Republican nomination in the primary. He is challenging the Republican incumbent Lamar Alexander in the Republican primary. The general election took place November 4, 2014.[1]


See also: Tennessee House of Representatives elections, 2012

Carr ran in the 2012 election for Tennessee House of Representatives, District 48. Carr defeated Ryan T. Harring in the August 2 primary election. He was unchallenged in the general election which took place on November 6, 2012.[7][8]

Tennessee House of Representatives, District 48 Republican Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngJoe Carr Incumbent 76.3% 3,402
Ryan Harring 23.7% 1,055
Total Votes 4,457


See also: Tennessee House of Representatives elections, 2010

Carr was re-elected to the 48th District seat in 2010. He defeated Democrat David B. LaRoche in the general election on November 2, 2010. He was unopposed in the August 5 primary.[9][10]


On Nov. 4, 2008, Carr won election to the 48th District Seat in the Tennessee House of Representatives, defeating opponent Tim Tipps (D).[11]

Carr raised $38,226 for his campaign while Heath raised $66,945.[12]

Tennessee House of Representatives, District 48 (2008)
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png Joe Carr (R) 13,968
Tim Tipps (D) 13,140

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Carr is available dating back to 2006. Based on available campaign finance records, Carr raised a total of $372,562 during that time period. This information was last updated on July 1, 2013.[13]

Joe Carr's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 Tennessee State House, District 48 Won $46,600
2010 Tennessee State House, District 48 Won $124,541
2008 Tennessee State House, District 48 Won $113,680
2006 Tennessee State House, District 48 Defeated $87,741
Grand Total Raised $372,562


Joe Carr (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[14]7/15/2013$0.00$205,479.00$(13,837.71)$191,641.29
July Quarterly[15]7/15/2013$191,641.29$100,225.00$(16,858.01)$275,008.28
October Quarterly[16]10/15/2013$275,008.28$52,276.98$(41,778.03)$285,507.23
Year-End[17]January 31, 2014$285,507$251,173$(131,530)$405,150
Running totals


Carr won re-election to the Tennessee House of Representatives in 2012. During that election cycle, Carr raised a total of $46,600.
Tennessee House of Representatives 2012 election - Campaign Contributions
Top contributors to Joe Carr's campaign in 2012
Joe PAC$14,200
Tennessee Association Of Realtors$2,250
Wine & Spirits Wholesalers Of Tennessee$1,500
Novartis Pharmaceuticals$1,400
Total Raised in 2012$46,600
Source:Follow the Money


Carr won re-election to the Tennessee House of Representatives in 2010. During that election cycle, Carr raised a total of $124,541.


Carr won election to the Tennessee House of Representatives in 2008. During that election cycle, Carr raised a total of $113,680.


Carr lost the election for the Tennessee House of Representatives in 2006. During that election cycle, Carr raised a total of $87,741.


Carr and his wife, Ginny, have three children. They currently reside in Lascassas, Tennessee.[18]

Additional reading

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Political offices
Preceded by
Tennessee House of Representatives District 48
Succeeded by