Carr cleans up: Perennial candidate lands $135K job with Lee adminstration

Former state Rep. Joe Carr (R-Lascassas) announces his U.S. Senate bid in January 2013.

Former state Rep. Joe Carr — the failed candidate for the U.S. Senate, U.S. House (twice), state Senate, and state Republican party chairman — has landed a job with Gov. Bill Lee’s administration. The Tennessean reports the job will pay $135,000 per year.

Carr’s new position will be assistant commissioner of the state Department of Environment and Conservation, the Nashville Post first reported.

Carr decided against running for re-election to the state House in 2014 to instead mount a challenge to U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-Sout Pittsburg). But he abandoned that bid to instead challenge U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Maryville). He did better than expected in that campaign, but still lost by 9 percentage points.

He then mounted a failed challenge to GOP Chairman Chris Devaney (top Lee adviser during the governor’s race and in the current administration). Then came a challenge to U.S. Rep. Diane Black (R-Gallatin) in 2016. He lost that one by a 2-to-1 margin.

And last year Carr ran for the Republican nomination to succeed Republican state Sen. Jim Tracy of Shelbyville. Carr lost to Shane Reeves 65% to 35%.

Carr made an early endorsement of Lee during the Republican gubernatorial primary as the businessman was still finding his feet in the campaign and staving off claims by rivals that he wasn’t sufficiently conservative.

Carr’s hiring was announced to TDEC employees in a recent email touting his business experience.

“[Carr] most recently served as chief operating officer for Superior Walls, a concrete construction company, where he was accountable for the safety and management of more than 50 employees,” according to the email.

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