Joe Carr

Joe Carr

Former Republican state Rep. Joe Carr is seeking yet another return to public office, this week launching a campaign for Rutherford County mayor.

The incumbent, former state Sen. Bill Ketron, is facing legal and campaign finance questions related to his former insurance business and past campaigns.

Carr has run for office several times in recent years, drawing the most attention — and coming closest to success — when he unsuccessfully challenged incumbent U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander from the right in the 2014 Republican primary. He has also run for U.S. House, Tennessee Republican Party leadership and state Senate in recent years.

After his most recent defeat, in 2018 for state Senate, Carr told the Post that he “determined that my best course of action was no longer to seek elected office.”

Carr joined the administration of Gov. Bill Lee, whom he endorsed during the competitive Republican gubernatorial primary, as an assistant commissioner at the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, though he has since left that post.

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