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Dems bid for Barr's seat


After Republican U.S. Rep. Andy Barr has failed to pass any legislation since taking office in 2012 and voted to take away healthcare from more than 500,000 Kentuckians, two Democrats seek to represent Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District.

Retired fighter pilot Marine Lt. Col. Amy McGrath’s video “Told Me” garnered a lot of media attention Tuesday, Aug. 1,  as she used it to formally announced her bid for Barr’s seat.

Fayette Democrat Sen. Reggie Thomas of Lexington hasn’t wasted time hitting the streets and social media campaigning for Barr’s seat that is up for grabs in the 2018 mid-term elections. Thomas announced his candidacy July 1.

Barr has been heckled and booed by constituents over the last year during his townhalls in the district to peddle the House’s health care bill to replace the Affordable Care Act.

The Congressional Budget Office’s analysis determined the bill Barr voted in support of would kick about 541,000 Kentuckians off of their current health insurance in a decade and remove an estimated 23 million Americans from health insurance rolls by 2026.

During the 2016 election season, Barr released an ad using the same military images Republican Sen. Rand Paul used in a different ad attacking Democratic contender Rev. Nancy Jo Kemper. Barr took clips from Kemper’s comments during a KET interview on the economy and used them out of context on terrorism saying she was out of touch.

Barr avoided any debates between he and Kemper including a debate hosted at Kentucky State University for candidates to answer questions aimed at engaging underrepresented Central Kentucky minorities in the political process.

Barr finally appeared for one debate on KET a month before the election. In 2018, he won’t have such a luxury.

The candidates

Thomas has served in the state Senate since 2014, works as an attorney and a tenured professor and Kentucky State University. He served as an assistant professor at the University of Kentucky Law.

Thomas has long championed social issues and before the 2017 legislative session filed bills related to gun violence, self-defense laws and deaths that occur during an arrest.

Thomas has opposed charter schools, right-to-work legislation and denounced Barr’s support of the House’s bill to replace the Affordable Care Act.

He is currently doing a 6th Congressional District listening tour. For more information about Thomas visit his campaign website at :

McGrath’s video formally announcing her candidacy received serious lift off on social media Wednesday, Aug. 1,  going from zero to 526,000 views in less than 24 hours.

McGrath retired from a 20-year military career, was the first female Marine to fly an F-18 in 89 combat missions in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

In her announcement, McGrath said it will be her mission to take on career politicians like Barr who “treat the people of Kentucky like they are disposable.”

Her campaign manager, Mark Nickolas announced Wednesday she had raised
$89,049 in the first 24-hour period of her announcement from 1,348 donors.

For more information about McGrath visit her campaign website at :