Local News

Story published: 04-01-2014 • Print ArticleE-mail Story to a Friend

Carriger announces 7th District state run

Candidate for the State Legislature, Phil Carriger, points out his qualifications to voters in Jonesborough.

By Lisa Whaley
Executive Editor

Former Johnson City commissioner Phil Carriger shared two promises with the Jonesborough crowd who gathered last week to hear him announce his run for the 7th District State Representative seat.

Carriger, who will be taking on incumbent Matthew Hill in the Aug. 7 state primary, promised his constituents they would see solid results, in the form of more jobs and a better local economy, if he was elected.

And, Carriger said, the district will see those results sooner, rather than later.

“Politics is not going to be my career,” he said, adding that he would be in Nashville only as long as it took to get the job done.

“You don’t have to be there forever. If it takes you 20 years, something is definitely wrong.”

Carriger, who bills himself as an “effective conservative,” made his official announcement on March 27 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, repeatedly going back to what he believes sets him apart from his opponent.

“I’ve been involved in Washington County’s economic development for more than 30 years,” said Carriger, who also cites 42 years of banking experience. “I know how the economy works, how jobs grow and why they leave. And I know now to work with others to get the job done.”

During his career, which included successfully launching People’s Community Bank, “I’ve balanced budgets, controlled costs and helped save and grow 3,000 jobs in Washington County.”

That business experience is key to what Carriger believes distinguishes him in the upcoming race.

Carriger also voiced a disdain for political gamesmanship.

“It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you don’t care who gets the credit,” he said.

“Career politicians don’t know how to manage a dollar. And for too many, their only (job) priority is to keep theirs . . . I’ve never dreamed of a life in politics. I dreamed of building a business and I have.”

Now, Carriger said, his goal is to attract even more high-quality jobs to Washington County – using the same solution-oriented common sense in Nashville that helped him become a successful business owner.

Part of the secret to job growth lies in local education, he said.

“I think Common Core is a good concept,” Carriger said. “I’ve talked with Mr. Dykes and others in the school system. “They like the values. It’s the implementation that’s the problem.”

Carriger said he would work toward continuing fiscal restraint as well as reducing governmental red tape and unnecessary bureaucracy.

“It’s time to cut up Washington, D.C.’s credit card,” he said.

And he cited a commitment to a “pro-active pro-life agenda” with the support of abortion alternative centers, crisis pregnancy counseling and adoption agencies

“I’m offering something different,” Carriger said. “It’s all about jobs. After that, it’s education.”

Carriger lives in Johnson City with his wife of 47 years, Karyn. They are members of Munsey Memorial United Methodist Church.