QUILLEN FOR CONGRESS
PRESS COVERAGE: Johnson City Press, by Robert Houk
July 13, 2020
Carter M. Quillen is a four-year veteran of the United States Coast Guard, a professional engineer and small businessman.
Quillen, who is a Republican candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, says he is also a “skilled merchant craftsman, who has specialized in the heating, ventilating, air conditioning and refrigeration industry for over 40 years.”
He was born in Florida, but moved to Tennessee when he was 11 years old and graduated from Gatlinburg-Pittman High School. He joined the Coast Guard at the age of 17, and later attended the Florida Institute of Technology on the GI bill, where he graduated with a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering.
What skills or experience do you have that makes you uniquely qualified to represent the 1st District in Congress?
I got my first real job when I was 12 years old, and in my nearly 50-year working career, I’ve spent over 25 years as an independent contractor and businessman. In addition, I worked at the Kennedy Space Center for five years, taught college for five years and for the last 20 years, I’ve worked in local industry as a registered professional engineer and certified technician.
I’ve been a contractor most of my adult life and made my living for a long time solving complex problems for federal, state and local agencies.
In addition, I have extensive administrative and project management experience, excellent communications skills, and strong leadership ability.
What are the economic issues you plan to make top priorities if elected to Congress?
Educational opportunity is the master key to unlocking the economic potential of this area. We have a willing work force that wants to learn and we need to provide the chance for people to get the training required to succeed in the 21st century economy.
With a highly skilled workforce, East Tennessee can be more competitive in attracting business and industries that will provide better paying jobs.
I support Gov. Bill Lee’s initiative in improving our education system in Tennessee and will use the 1st District office to help constituencies, such as the local schools and municipal governments identify and apply for federal grants.
Will you be able to put partisanship aside to best serve all of your constituents?
Absolutely. We are being divided in every way in our country today. This division is being ingrained in our psyche by the paid media and unwittingly amplified by ourselves through social media as we harden our hearts to fellow Americans who simply view life differently, but want the same things we all want: Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
We must put this divisiveness aside and work harder to focus on the things we have in common. We need to voluntarily change our language to avoid labels that define ourselves and others so we can work together to move forward solving the problems that confront us as a nation, a society, and a culture.
How important is it to you to see tax dollars returned to the 1st District in the form of federal grants and programs?
I see bringing federal money to the 1st District as one of the main goals this office should be working on. My cousin, James H. Quillen, was legendary for his ability to bring home the bacon to East Tennessee. I pledge to work tirelessly in Washington D.C., to do the same.
If elected, I will employ staffers that are experts in grant writing and make it their mandate to assist local school, municipalities and individuals identify and apply for federal grants of all kinds.
In addition, I will work to identify critical infrastructure needs and do everything I can to find federal resources to address them.
What do you believe is the No. 1 job of a congressman?
Representing the will of the people in Washington, D.C., by listening carefully to all the constituents of the district and determining their needs and problems. Then using the resources of the office to best meet those needs and solve those problems.