Lascassas Republican state Rep. Joe Carr officially tossed his hat in the ring, Thursday, in the race for Tennessee’s 4th U.S. Congressional district, a seat currently held by embattled GOP Rep. Scott Desjarlais.
Carr came out swinging during a press conference in Murfreesboro with harsh jabs at the Obama administration and only slightly-more-measured denouncements of the U.S. Congress, which Carr accused of “sitting idly by” while the president commenced “a full assault on our civil liberties and our state sovereignty.”
Standing across from the Middle Tennessee Medical Center, the farmer and three-term state representative began his announcement by taking on the Affordable Care Act, saying the law was bad for both patients and doctors.
“Obamacare has taken what has been…quality, affordable, good care and has wrapped a millstone around this country’s neck and the people in this country for the express purpose of trying to redefine what we, as citizens are about when it comes to healthcare,” Carr said.
Carr also raised concerns with the way Washington has recently been handling issues of energy, gun rights and immigration.
Carr said he was skeptical of the current push in Congress to enact immigration reform because he’s not sure it’s necessary. “It’s not that we don’t save efficient, substantial laws,” he said. “What we have is a failure to enforce the law.”
“The immigration reform that’s being touted by some of my colleagues in the Republican party…are premature,” Carr continued.
With the announcement of his plan to vie for the 4th District seat, Carr is joining a GOP field that already includes DesJarlais, the incumbent, and state Senator Jim Tracy of Shelbyville.
According to recently released fundraising numbers, Carr is trailing Tracy in first quarter contributions by a sizable margin, $436,000 to just over $200,000, but speaking to TNReport Wednesday, Carr said he wasn’t worried.
“Put in proper context, the senator’s been raising money since mid November,” Carr said, referring to Tracy. “We have literally received our first check February 14, so if you prorate it out over a week-to-week basis, our fundraising averaged $35,000 per week. We’re very very satisfied with where we are, not just in this context of where we wanted to be but where we think we need to be in relation to everybody else. We’re very confident that this is going to be a million dollar race and we’re going to hit that figure.”