Republican gubernatorial hopeful Bill Lee chalked up another endorsement Tuesday; this time, from conservative former State Representative Joe Carr.
“I sat down with Bill, looked him in the eye and asked him the tough questions about the Rights of the Unborn, the Second Amendment, a smaller more efficient state government, and, of course, the growing problem of illegal immigration in Tennessee,” the Republican firebrand said in a statement.
Carr added, “Bill didn’t back down when I asked him these questions. Bill Lee showed me he is man of conviction who is willing to ‘Stand Firm’ even if it means he has to stand alone. But, Bill Lee doesn’t have to stand alone because like tens of thousands of Tennesseans across the state, I will stand with Bill Lee. I believe Bill Lee is what Tennessee needs to move Tennessee forward and he has my unwavering endorsement and support.”
Bill is a proven businessman with a heart for working men and women. Just like President Trump, his decision to run isn’t about a desire to climb the political ladder, it’s about a desire to serve the people. Bill isn’t a typical candidate for office, and to me, that’s a strength!
He’s unafraid to speak his mind, even when it’s not the politically correct answer. In his debates and town halls, he’s stepped up as the only top-tier candidate who has been consistent on illegal immigration, refusing to support licenses, in-state tuition, or any other benefit for those here illegally. As someone who has led on the question of illegal immigration, I have complete trust that Bill will enforce the law and defend the Constitution.
To lead our state, we need an outsider, and we need a conservative. And Bill Lee is the only candidate to meet both criteria.
Responding to the full-throated endorsement, Lee said, “It is truly an honor to have someone with rock solid conservative credentials like Joe Carr. This endorsement shows that conservatives across the state are joining this campaign to send a message that we’re ready to challenge the status quo in Nashville.”
The Lee campaign notes former State Representative Carr is known as “one of the foremost authorities on solving the problem of illegal immigration in Tennessee.”
In 2009, Carr gained national attention when he wrote and passed the nation’s first ‘No Sanctuary City’ Law. He also wrote and passed Tennessee’s E-Verify Law along with Tennessee’s law disallowing state taxpayer-funded benefits for illegal aliens. He is also the author of numerous other pieces of legislation that protected the Tennessee Family and the American Worker.
Carr cut his time in office short when he resigned from the state house in 2014 to run against Senator Lamar Alexander in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, where he was lost to the senior senator 49 – 40 percent. In 2016, Carr stood for office against Rep Diane Black and lost his bid by a 2-t0-1 margin.
After the historic election of President Donald Trump in 2016, Carr once again ran for office – this time in the special election to replace State Senator Jim Tracy, who was tapped by the new Republican administration to serve in the USDA. Carr was defeated by political newcomer and businessman Shane Reeves by a 2-t0-1 margin once again.
Reeves went on to win the special general election against progressive fundraiser and blogger Gayle Jordan, 71 – 28 percent.