After losing by less than 700 votes in last year’s general election, Republican Andy Barr will challenge Democratic Congressman Ben Chandler again in 2012. The 37-year-old Lexington attorney is a rising star in the Kentucky GOP ranks and surprised political observers by coming within a razor-thin margin of beating Chandler, a popular incumbent and grandson of a former governor.
Chandler has been a consistently moderate Democratic vote since winning the seat in 2004, but Barr rode a wave of Tea Party sentiment in the state and gained support from a number voters who championed the “Anybody But Chandler” position during the campaign.
“The issues that we talked about in 2010 are in large measure going to be the same in 2012, except that the presidential election will be in the background,” Barr told POLITICO. “That can only help in my congressional bid.”
Barr plans to again focus his campaigning on reducing the federal debt, repealing the health care law and creating jobs.
“It will only take convincing 350 voters from the last time around to switch,” he added. “Now, of course, the turnout is going to be different…but that’s the way we look at it.”
Asked about two controversial votes, Barr said he would have supported Congressman Paul Ryan’s budget plan and voted against increasing the debt ceiling without significant spending cuts.
In a YouTube video announcing his candidacy, Barr says this election is a call to lead the nation and it’s time to defend the country from the “harmful powers” from within that threaten “our freedoms” and “our future.”
Check it out: