Former State Representative Joe Carr (R-Lascassas) and Murfreesboro businessman Shane Reeves clashed again on Wednesday, this time, over a claim by Reeves that Carr is absent in his support of Tennesseans’ gun rights.
The latest exchange between the two GOP rivals came just two weeks and one day before Republican primary voters select one of them at the polls on January 25 to be the party’s nominee in the March 13 special general election to elect a successor to former State Senator Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville), who resigned in November to take a position in the Trump administration’s Department of Agriculture.
Wednesday morning, Reeves’ campaign issued a press release stating that the National Rifle Association has “a question mark” with regards to fellow Republican and rival Joe Carr’s support of 2nd Amendment rights:
Today the National Rifle Association (NRA) released their grades for the 14th senatorial district special election. Businessman, Shane Reeves, received the highest grade that can be given to a first time candidate with an “A” rating. Former State Representative, Joe Carr, received a “?” from the prominent gun rights organization.
“I am honored to receive the NRA’s highest rating for a non-incumbent candidate. I have a long history of supporting our 2nd Amendment rights having been a member of the NRA since 2005 while also being an avid hunter and member of a few sportsman clubs in the area,” Reeves stated.
This is not the first time Mr. Carr has missed or skipped out on important issues related to the NRA and gun rights as he missed a 2nd Amendment vote as a state representative back in 2013 to attend a country club fundraiser for his unsuccessful congressional campaign.
Reeves continued, “As state senator, I will continue my support of our second Amendment rights and work to build upon the positive policy changes that have passed over the past several years under the Republican leadership in the Tennessee General Assembly.”
Reeves is running in the January 25th special election to fill the seat that Jim Tracy vacated in early November. The district includes Rutherford, Bedford, Marshall, Moore, and Lincoln counties. Early voting is happening now through January 20.
Carr responded swiftly with his own statement later in the day with a rebuttal dismissing Reeves’ implications that he is anything other than a staunch supporter of the constitutional right to keep and bear arms. The former State Representative then went on the offensive, questioning Reeves’ motivations behind the attack.
“In yet another attempt to talk about anything other than the issues that actually have an impact on the lives of voters in the 14th District, Reeves is raising questions about a “?” score I received from the NRA in their candidate grading system,” Carr said in the statement, adding:
Having sent my response to the NRA over a week ago, the only real ‘question’ is why they chose not to include my response in their scoring system. Today I immediately attempted to resend the response and the NRA fax machine was not working; so I emailed a photo of my completed questionnaire. I am confident that the NRA will act quickly to record my response and report the results — which I expect to be an A score based upon my long and consistent record of support for the 2nd Amendment in both words AND action.
Carr then noted that the Tennessee Firearms Association is one of his strong supporters:
The recognition of my strong support for the Second Amendment is apparent from the fact that the Tennessee Firearms Association (TFA) PAC has contributed $6000 to my State Senate campaign. I have long been a member of National Association for Gun Rights (NAGR) and TFA, and am a lifetime member of the NRA. I sponsored legislation when I was in the State House to specifically protect the rights of Tennessee gun owners from federal interference.
I expect Shane Reeves to continue to sling mud, spew ridiculous personal attacks at me and avoid addressing the ISSUES in the time remaining in this primary campaign. I will continue to talk about real issues that will be my focus as State Senator: reducing taxes and regulations; securing our border and enforcing our immigration laws, blocking taxpayer subsidies and payments to illegal aliens, creating a business climate that produces more jobs and higher wages, and protecting our history and our heritage from those who would seek to erase it.
On Tuesday, Reeves and Carr had a spirited exchange over “per diem” expense reimbursements.
The winner of the January 25 Republican primary will face Gayle Jordan, who is unopposed in the Democratic primary that same day, in the March 13 special general election.
Editors Note: Both the Shane Reeves for State Senate Campaign and the Joe Carr for State Senate Campaign are Tennessee Star advertisers.