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Buddy Carter
Official portrait, 2014
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 1st district
Assumed office
January 3, 2015
Preceded byJack Kingston
Member of the Georgia State Senate
from the 1st district
In office
November 22, 2009 – 2014
Preceded byEric Johnson
Succeeded byBen Watson
Member of the Georgia House of Representatives
from the 159th district
In office
January 10, 2005 – September 15, 2009
Succeeded byAnn Purcell
Personal details
Earl LeRoy Carter

(1957-09-06) September 6, 1957 (age 66)
Port Wentworth, Georgia, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Amy Coppage
(m. 1978)
Residence(s)Pooler, Georgia, U.S.
EducationYoung Harris College (AA)
University of Georgia (BS)
WebsiteHouse website

Earl LeRoy "Buddy" Carter (born September 6, 1957) is an American pharmacist and politician serving as the U.S. representative for Georgia's 1st congressional district since 2015. The district is based in Savannah and includes most of the state's coastal southern portion. A member of the Republican Party, Carter served as a Georgia state representative (2005–2009) and Georgia state senator (2009–2014).[1][2]

Early life and education

Carter graduated in 1975 from Robert W. Groves High School in Garden City, Georgia. He earned an associate degree from Young Harris College in 1977 and a Bachelor of Science in pharmacy from the University of Georgia in 1980. Carter was conferred the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree by Young Harris College at its 2024 commencement ceremony.[3]

Carter is a Methodist.[4]

Political career

Carter served on the planning and zoning commission for the city of Pooler from 1989 to 1993 and on Pooler's city council from 1994 to 1995. He served as Pooler's mayor from 1996 to 2004. Carter was first elected to the state legislature in 2005, serving two terms in the Georgia House of Representatives from 2006 to 2010. He was elected to the Georgia Senate in 2009.[1] He sat on the Senate Appropriations, Health and Human Services, Higher Education, and Public Safety committees.[1]

In March 2014, a controversy emerged regarding S.B. 408, a bill authored by Carter that would increase reimbursement rates for pharmacies in Georgia. As he is the owner of three pharmacies that would see increased profits as a result of the bill, many considered his vote in violation of the Senate's ethical guidelines. "Obviously, it's borderline," he admitted.[5]

Carter gave up his state senate seat in 2014 to run for Congress after 22-year incumbent Jack Kingston announced he was running for the United States Senate. He finished first in the six-way Republican primary–the real contest in this heavily Republican district–with 36% of the vote, well short of the 51% required for outright victory.[6] He then defeated Bob Johnson in the runoff with 53% of the vote.[7] In the general election, he defeated the Democratic nominee, Brian Reese, with 60.9% of the vote, carrying all but two counties in the district.[8] In 2016, he was unopposed in both the primary and general elections, and took over 99% of the vote against a write-in candidate.[9][10]

Carter was reelected in 2018, 2020, and 2022. The Democratic challengers both years were the first since 1992 to clear 40% of the vote in the district.[citation needed]

In May 2023, Carter listed a property in Camden County, Georgia, for sale for $4.25 million after having purchased it in 2018 for $2.05 million.[11] He had not listed the property in his Congressional financial disclosures and instead said he had not bought the property as an investment. Shortly after purchasing the property he urged the FAA to issue Camden a launch site operator's license, which would have increased the value of his property tremendously, but he did not disclose that he owned nearby property in his letter.

Political positions

2020 presidential election

On January 6, 2021, in a vote held after protestors stormed the U.S. Capitol, Carter voted against certifying the 2020 presidential election due to unfounded claims made by the president, a vote he has continued to defend, saying it "will be a cold day in hell" before he apologizes for it.[12]

Drug policy

The marijuana legalization advocacy organization NORML has rated Carter a "D".[13][failed verification]

Carter voted against the Veterans Equal Access Amendment in 2015 and 2016 (which would expand access to medical marijuana for veterans), against the McClintock/Polis Amendment in 2015 (which would prevent the Department of Justice from prosecuting federal marijuana offenses that are legal in the state) and against the Rohrabacher/Farr Amendment in 2015 (which would prevent federal officials from interfering with a state's medical marijuana program).[13][failed verification]

In 2017, Carter renewed his push to drug-test people who receive unemployment insurance.[14]

Carter is against cannabis legalization. He has called it "nothing more than a gateway drug". On April 1, 2022, Carter voted against the MORE Act, which would have decriminalized cannabis at the federal level, allowing states to set their own policies.[15][16][17]

Health care

Carter supports the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). He has said that there is no circumstance that would induce him to vote in favor of keeping the ACA, including if most of his constituents were in favor of it.[18]

On July 26, 2017, Carter was asked during a live television interview if he supported Trump's criticism of U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski for her opposition to the procedural vote to begin the Senate's healthcare debate. Carter said he did, adding, "Somebody needs to go over there to that Senate and snatch a knot in their ass."[19] The incident prompted widespread media coverage.[20][21][22]

Tax reform

Carter voted for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017,[23] saying he believed it would make businesses in his district more competitive in a global market. He also said it would help his constituents earn and/or save more money.[24] Carter is a sponsor of "H.R.25 The FairTax Act of 2023" which would abolish the current US tax structure and replace it with a yearly adjustable variable "national sales tax" (value-added tax) starting at 23% in 2025 to be administered by the states and remitted to the Treasury of the United States.[25]


Carter co-sponsored a bill that would let illegal immigrants serve in the U.S. military in exchange for legal residency.[26]

Carter supported Trump's 2017 executive order to temporarily curtail immigration from seven countries until better screening methods are devised. He said, "While I believe there needs to be thoughtful clarifications on the executive actions similar to Secretary Kelly’s announcement about lawful permanent residents, the number one priority of the federal government is to provide for the common defense."[27]

Carter wants to prohibit all federal funding from sanctuary cities in Georgia (sanctuary cities prohibit city officials from asking about a person's immigration status when they report an unrelated crime).[28] He also said he would like to test the huge backlog of rape kits in Georgia, except in sanctuary cities.[29]


Carter opposes abortion. He cosponsored the Sanctity of Human Life Act (H.R. 586), which would make all abortions illegal.[30]

H.R. 586 provides a constitutional right to life to embryos at the moment of fertilization.[31] A similar bill in the Senate, S. 231, claims to not target women who use birth control, women who suffer from miscarriages, or families that want to conceive using vitro fertilization,[32] but the House bill contains no such exceptions.[citation needed] When asked by a constituent during a town hall in Savannah whether he had concerns about restricting access to birth control when rape is so common on college campuses, Carter replied, "I'm not going to vote for any bill that endorses abortion."[33] H.R. 586, which would ban abortion, contains no exceptions for the life or health of the mother or cases of rape or incest.


When asked during a February 2017 town hall in Savannah whether religious doctrine should be taught in public school science classes, Carter responded, "I have always thought we should teach the Bible in school."[34]

LGBT rights

Carter has claimed that same-sex marriage should be illegal.[35]

During an August 2017 town hall in Brunswick, Carter said he supported a ban on transgender people serving in the military, saying, "I don't want 'em serving in the military. I'm sorry."[36][37]

Gun rights

Carter is a strong supporter of gun rights, and has an "A" rating from the NRA Political Victory Fund for his stances on gun issues.[38]

In February 2018, during a town hall in Hinesville, when asked about mass shootings in America, Carter told attendees to not look to Congress for answers about gun violence, saying Congress is not responsible for gun violence in America.[39]

Texas v. Pennsylvania

In December 2020, Carter was one of 126 Republican members of the House of Representatives to sign an amicus brief in support of Texas v. Pennsylvania, a lawsuit filed at the United States Supreme Court contesting the results of the 2020 presidential election, in which Joe Biden defeated[40] Trump. The Supreme Court declined to hear the case on the basis that Texas lacked standing under Article III of the Constitution to challenge the results of an election held by another state.[41][42][43] House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a statement that called signing the amicus brief an act of "election subversion."[44][45]


Carter voted to provide Israel with support following 2023 Hamas attack on Israel.[46][47]

U.S. House of Representatives

Committee assignments

For the 118th Congress:[48]

Caucus memberships

Electoral history

Georgia 159th State House District Republican Primary, 2004[53]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Buddy Carter 3,254 53.97
Republican Purcell 2,775 46.03
Total votes 6,029 100.0
Georgia 159th State House District General Election, 2004[54]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Buddy Carter 16,602 100.0
Total votes 16,602 100.0
Georgia 159th State House District General Election, 2006[55]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Buddy Carter (incumbent) 11,851 100.0
Total votes 11,851 100.0
Georgia 159th State House District General Election, 2008[56]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Buddy Carter (incumbent) 24,026 100.0
Total votes 24,026 100.0
Georgia 1st State Senate District Special Election, 2009[57]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Buddy Carter 10,904 82.14
Republican Hair 2,371 17.86
Total votes 13,275 100.0
Georgia 1st State Senate District General Election, 2010[58]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Buddy Carter (incumbent) 34,890 70.32
Democratic Carry Smith 14,723 29.68
Total votes 49,613 100.0
Georgia 1st State Senate District General Election, 2012[59]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Buddy Carter (incumbent) 53,821 100.0
Total votes 53,821 100.0
Georgia's 1st congressional district Republican Primary, 2014[60]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican E. L. 'Buddy' Carter 18,971 36.22
Republican Robert E. 'Bob' Johnson 11,890 22.70
Republican John A. McCallum 10,715 20.46
Republican J. L. 'Jeff' Chapman 6,918 13.21
Republican Darwin Carter 2,819 5.38
Republican Earl T. Martin 1,063 2.03
Total votes 52,376 100.0
Georgia's 1st congressional district Republican Run-off Primary, 2014[61]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican E. L. 'Buddy' Carter 22,871 53.81
Republican Robert E. 'Bob' Johnson 19,632 46.19
Total votes 42,503 100.0
Georgia's 1st congressional district General Election, 2014[62]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican E. L. 'Buddy' Carter 95,337 60.91
Democratic Brian Corwin Reese 61,175 39.09
Total votes 156,512 100.0
Georgia's 1st congressional district General Election, 2016[63][64]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Earl "Buddy" Carter (incumbent) 210,243 99.59
Write-in Nathan Russo 869 0.41
Total votes 211,112 100.0
Georgia's 1st congressional district General Election, 2018[65]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Earl L. 'Buddy' Carter (incumbent) 144,741 57.74
Democratic Lisa M. Ring 105,942 42.26
Total votes 250,683 100.0
Georgia's 1st congressional district General Election, 2020[66]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Earl L. 'Buddy' Carter (incumbent) 189,457 58.35
Democratic Joyce Marie Griggs 135,238 41.65
Total votes 324,695 100.0
Georgia's 1st congressional district General Election, 2022[67]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Earl L. 'Buddy' Carter (incumbent) 156,128 59.1
Democratic Wade Herring 107,837 40.9
Total votes 263,965 100.0


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  25. ^ Carter, Buddy (September 1, 2023). "Summary: H.R.25 — 118th Congress (2023-2024)". Archived from the original on April 18, 2023. Retrieved August 21, 2023.
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  27. ^ Blake, Aaron (January 29, 2017). "Coffman, Gardner join Republicans against President Trump's travel ban; here's where the rest stand". Denver Post. Retrieved January 30, 2017.
  28. ^ "Rep. Carter takes aim at 'sanctuary cities'". The Brunswick News. Retrieved August 12, 2017.
  29. ^ Hallerman, Tamar; Journal-Constitution, The Atlanta. "Ga. Congressman: Use fed money to clear rape kit backlog 'unless they're a sanctuary city'". ajc.
  30. ^ "Protecting Life : U.S. Representative Buddy Carter". Retrieved August 12, 2017.
  31. ^ "H.R. 586 - Sanctity of Human Life Act". February 6, 2017. Retrieved February 26, 2017.
  32. ^ "S.231 - Life at Conception Act of 2017". January 24, 2017. Retrieved February 26, 2017.
  33. ^ Morekis, Jim. "Buddy Carter town hall heavy on drama and volume, but scant on specifics". Connect Savannah. Retrieved February 26, 2017.
  34. ^ "Big crowd challenges, supports Buddy Carter at Savannah town hall". Archived from the original on February 27, 2017. Retrieved February 26, 2017.
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  38. ^ "NRA-PVF | Grades | Georgia". NRA-PVF. Archived from the original on November 4, 2014. Retrieved September 14, 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
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  41. ^ Liptak, Adam (December 11, 2020). "Supreme Court Rejects Texas Suit Seeking to Subvert Election". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on December 11, 2020. Retrieved December 12, 2020.
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External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 1st congressional district

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by United States representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
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