State Rep. Joe Carr tells the Daily News Journal that state law prevents him from seeking reelection to his state House District 48 seat while he’s running for Congress – along with incumbent U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais and state Sen. Jim Tracy.
Tracy is in the middle of a four-year Senate term and thus can run for Congress without giving up his seat in the Legislature. The article notes this and also quotes Carr as otherwise contrasting himself with Tracy.
An excerpt: Carr confirmed he was not seeking re-election to the Tennessee General Assembly a couple of days after Rutherford County Commissioner Adam Coggin announced candidacy for the 48th District seat.
Carr said that he talked to Coggin and two others about their interest in succeeding him as a GOP lawmaker in Nashville.
“It will be a contested primary,” Carr said. “I hope the House 48th District is a referendum on my job performance and the way I conducted myself.”
…”Does the district want a fighter like I’ve tried to be for them or do they want somebody who is more of a compromiser?” Carr asked. “I am interested to see if the voters of the 48th are going to put in somebody who is committed to being that vocal principled fighter or do they want somebody who is more of a get along, go along type of legislator? That’s the choice. I am interested in seeing what choice they make, but I will not be on the ballot as a state representative.”
Jim Tracy leads in fundraising for the 4th Congressional District Republican primary with Rep, Joe Carr second and embattled incumbent U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais third, according to the Chattanooga TFP. State Sen. Tracy, R-Shelbyville, reported raising $303,000 from April 1 through June 30 while the embattled DesJarlais disclosed raising just $39,153. Carr, R-Lascassas, said he raised $100,255.
Both Tracy and DesJarlais’s net contributions were slightly lower after refunds to contributors. Tracy’s net was $296,393, while DesJarlais, a Jasper physician, netted $35,155.
Tracy also dominates in cash on hand with $656,201. That’s seven times as much as DesJarlais’ $88,361. Carr reported $275,000 in cash on hand.
The financial stakes are a little higher today in Tennessee’s 4th District, where state Sen. Jim Tracy had another big-money fundraising quarter and U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais is keeping his campaign fundraising data close to the chest.
Further from Chris Carroll: In a Wednesday news release that calls DesJarlais “the embattled incumbent,” Tracy, a Shelbyville Republican, said he raised $303,000 between April and June. The announcement came several days before the deadline for federal candidates to file detailed campaign finance reports with the government.
DesJarlais and another 4th District Republican challenger, state Rep. Joe Carr of Lascassas, declined requests to provide their second-quarter hauls and said to expect numbers on the July 15 deadline. That represents a departure from last quarter, when Carr was first to release his $200,000 haul well ahead of the final day to do so.
In a phone interview, Tracy said he has $656,000 left after expenses.
In the year’s first fundraising quarter, Tracy doubled Carr’s haul and held a 4-to-1 cash-on-hand lead over DesJarlais. At the end of March, DesJarlais reported $87,000 on hand and Carr had $192,000 left.
“I will not be outworked in this race,” Tracy said.
Talk of U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais’ involvement in abortions and sex with patients have become more prominent in the media lately, but his challengers in next year’s Republican primary say they don’t foresee using the reports in negative campaigning, reports Chris Carroll. State Sen. Jim Tracy, R-Shelbyville, and state Rep. Joe Carr, R-Lascassas, are challenging DesJarlais in next year’s 4th District Republican primary.
The second-term incumbent, a physician fined $500 last week by the state’s medical board, continues to battle charges of unethical behavior. According to the board’s findings, he had sex with two of his patients in 2000. Ten years later, he successfully campaigned as an anti-abortion advocate. Then in 2012, documents turned up showing he encouraged his ex-wife to get two abortions in the 1990s.
Voters last year knew about the Jasper Republican’s sex with patients and re-elected him. But they only found out about the abortion revelations after Election Day, meaning Carr and Tracy have the first crack at painting DesJarlais as a hypocrite.
To hear the challengers tell it, though, this is just your average Republican primary. In a recent interview, Carr said he “despises” and “loathes” negative campaigning. Those statements came a day after he hired Chip Saltsman, a GOP strategist known for his work in the political dark arts.
“We’re not running a campaign based on what happened to the congressman 12 or 14 years ago,” Carr said last week. “That’s not why we’re in this race.”
Tracy? For now, equally dismissive when asked about DesJarlais’ struggles.
“I’m focused on what I call a grass-roots, issue-oriented campaign — Benghazi, the IRS and restoring the public’s trust in government,” Tracy said. “People will be able to tell the difference between me and Congressman DesJarlais.”
Former Rep. Zach Wamp said it’s admirable — but probably unrealistic — to think that both candidates will uphold their positive pledges. Victory means everything, he said, and desperate candidates go to desperate lengths to get there.
“None of this means their campaign operatives are not planting seeds everywhere they go to try to raise the negatives of the incumbent while publicly touting their own positive platform,” Wamp said.
Wamp predicted that, throughout the campaign, debate moderators, media organizations and the challengers’ supporters will air DesJarlais’ troubles without Carr and Tracy ever lifting a finger.
“They’ll want to be as clean and positive as they possibly can be,” Wamp said, “and these revelations already will be on the table.”
News release from Joe Carr campaign:
Lascassas, TN- Rep. Joe Carr announced today that veteran GOP strategist Chip Saltsman has joined his team in his bid to win the GOP primary in Tennessee’s 4th Congressional district. The announcement follows Carr’s recent entrance into the race earlier this month and a highly successful fundraising period.
In just 6 weeks, Carr’s exploratory committee raised over $205,000 (nearly double the amount raised by incumbent Rep. Scott Desjarlais during the most recent filing period).
“We are excited that Chip will lead our team,” Carr stated. “Chip brings significant firepower and experience to our campaign. His excellent track record of managing both statewide and national campaigns is invaluable. Chip is a leader and proven winner in the conservative movement. I’m thankful for his friendship and for the opportunity to serve with him to advance the conservative principles of individual liberty, personal responsibility and state sovereignty that are among the pillars of American exceptionalism.”
By Erik Schelzig, Associated Press
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — State Rep. Joe Carr on Thursday joined state Sen. Jim Tracy in the race to oust embattled U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais in next year’s Republican primary.
Carr, a Murfreesboro business consultant, made his announcement from a balcony overlooking the Middle Tennessee Medical Center, which he said “represents some of the paralysis that has engulfed this county.”
“We’ve got a state of the art medial community over here, and it’s in peril because one thing, and one thing only: and that’s the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare,” he said.
Carr said beyond his opposition to the federal health care law, his campaign would focus on supporting gun rights and tighter enforcement of immigration laws.
“At the very least the immigration reform that is being touted by some of my colleagues in the Republican Party are premature,” he said.
Carr’s exploratory committee raised about $205,000 in the first quarter of the year. Meanwhile, Tracy’s campaign reported last month that he had raised more than $436,000 in the first quarter, while DesJarlais raised $105,000.
DesJarlais, a Jasper physician, has struggled to raise money since winning re-election last year amid revelations that a phone call was recorded with him urging a patient with whom he was having an affair to seek an abortion.
The congressman denied during the campaign that he had recorded the call, but in his 2001 testimony he acknowledged that he did. DesJarlais said he was only trying to get her to admit she wasn’t pregnant.
Carr cast himself as the outsider willing to take on the entrenched interests.
“Don’t misunderstand me: This is going be difficult,” he said. “Because who we’re standing against … is some of our Republican colleagues. We’re standing against, in some respects, the establishment.”
Carr acknowledged that more than one candidate in the primary could improve DesJarlais’s chances, but predicted that conservative voters would come to embrace his positions.
Carr also said he was undaunted by Tracy’s long list of endorsements and financial backers.
“I think what the voters are looking for is more than the same good old boy politics that we’ve become accustomed to,” Carr said.
Tracy, a Shelbyville insurance agent and former college basketball referee, previously ran for Congress in 2010 before his county was moved from the 6th District as part of redistricting.
— Note: The Carr campaign announcement news release is below.
By Erik Schelzig, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — State Sen. Jim Tracy has raised more than four times as much as the embattled congressional incumbent he is challenging in the Republican primary next year.
According to campaign disclosures filed with the Federal Election Commission on Monday, Tracy raised more than $436,485 in the first quarter, compared with U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais’ net of $104,532.
DesJarlais, a Jasper physician, won a second term in November despite revelations that he once urged a patient with whom he was having an affair to get an abortion.
Transcripts released after the election revealed that DesJarlais made a mutual decision with his first wife to have two abortions.
After long and contentious debate Monday night, the House joined the Senate in approving legislation that clears the way for a new moonshine distillery in Gatlinburg and a whiskey distillery in Chattanooga.
The bill (SB129) also allows new distilleries to locate in other cities that have approved liquor-by-the-drink and liquor package stores. Under a prior law enacted in 2009, only county governments – not cities – were allowed to authorize distilleries.
Sponsor Rep. Joe Carr, R-Lascassas, said the measure originated with Chattanooga officials desire to have a brand called Chattanooga Whiskey, now made in Indiana, manufactured in its namesake city even though Hamilton County has not authorized distilleries.
It was expanded to allow a new moonshine distillery, Sugarlands, to locate in Gatlinburg, even though local officials have turned down its application and make what Carr called “cleanup” revisions to state alcoholic beverage laws. Gatlinburg already has Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery operating near the site of the proposed Sugarlands distillery, which counts Nashville lobbyist David McMahan as a minority investor.
Thirteen amendments were filed on the House floor to change the bill. Only one was adopted, but that will send the bill back to the Senate for concurrence. The adopted amendment, proposed by Carr, says a distillery cannot be located within 2,000 feet of a church or school – unless the local government having jurisdiction decides to set a shorter limit. That is the same rule that now applies to beer sales, Carr said.
One of the rejected amendments, filed by Rep. Jeremy Faison, R-Cosby, would have had the effect of blocking Sugarlands by declaring local governments could reject a distillery application. Faison said the bills was influenced by “high-powered people who have a lot of money” and should not be “dictating” how many distilleries a town can have for “high-powered corn in a jar.”
“This amendment creates a monopoly in a particular part of the state. That’s a fact,” responded Carr, reminding colleagues that the Ole Smoky operators ran a newspaper ad charging that legislators were trying to “sneak through” a bill to curb local control over liquor.
Faison’s amendment was killed on a 55-28 vote. Other rejected amendments included one by Rep. Richard Floyd, R-Chattanooga, that would have prohibited distilleries and wineries from selling their products on Sunday.
The bill itself passed 57-31 with six lawmakers abstaining.
Republican state Sen. Jim Tracy’s congressional campaign says the Shelbyville lawmaker raised nearly $436,485 during the first quarter in his bid to oust “scandal-ridden” U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn., in the 2014 primary, reports Andy Sher. Tracy has raised more than twice the $205,000 that state Rep. Joe Carr, R-Lascassas, said last week his exploratory committee has amassed.
And Tracy said he still has $400,000 in cash on hand after expenses.
Tracy’s finance chairman, Shane Reeves, said in a news release Sunday the senator’s “robust fundraising totals coupled with his strong grass-roots organization put him in the best position to defeat the scandal-ridden incumbent.”
,,,Campaign finance reports for the Jan. 1-March 30 period are due today to the Federal Election Commission.
DesJarlais last month held a major fundraiser in Washington. He has yet to release his first-quarter report. But Tracy’s campaign noted the senator’s first-quarter figures far exceed the $68,000 DesJarlais reported in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Reeves said Tracy’s figures “speak volumes.”
News release from Rep. Joe Carr exploratory campaign:
(Lascassas, TN) – Local businessman and state representative Joe Carr announced today his Exploratory Committee for Congress raised over $200,000 in his effort to become Tennessee’s next congressman from the 4th district. The Rutherford County native remarked how humbled he was for the outpouring of support.
“This certainly sends a great signal that Tennesseans are interested in a Joe Carr for Congress candidacy,” Carr said. “I can’t tell you how appreciative I am of friends and neighbors who believe in me, and I don’t take their trust in me lightly.”
In just six weeks the Joe Carr for Congress Exploratory Committee led by prominent Republican businessman and fundraiser Lee Beaman, raised a total of $205,479. “These strong numbers prove that people are devoted to Joe Carr, just as Joe Carr is committed to the conservative movement,” said Beaman.
“I have a good idea what it takes to get your message out to the people; hard work, smart planning and enough gas in the tank to make a campaign of this magnitude successful,” Carr remarked. “We’re a step closer to making a final decision on whether to jump in, but I can tell you one thing, all indications point to that direction.”
Carr, a 1981 graduate of Middle Tennessee State University with 60 hours of graduate work is a consultant assisting industrial companies in the reduction of their electrical energy costs. In addition he and his wife Ginny own Cedar Snag Farms in Lascassas.
Carr was elected to the Tennessee General Assembly in 2008 and currently serves as Chairman of the Government Sub Committee. He is a member of the National Federation of Independent Business, Tennessee Right to Life, Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce, Middle Tennessee State University Blue Raider Athletic Association, and Greenhouse Ministries. Carr is also an accomplished private pilot and member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilot Association.
Carr has been married for 30 years to his wife Ginny, and they have three children, Erin, Maddie, and Joe, Jr. In addition he is a proud grandfather. Joe 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.