The biggest race in Kentucky is all over as Republican Andy Barr stunned Democrat incumbent Ben Chandler out of the 6th Congressional District. The Chandler Dynasty has fallen.
This race was always projected to be extremely close as Ben Chandler only beat Barr by 648 votes last time the two faced off for the House two years ago. It was not that close this time, as Barr won by 4%, or 11,852 votes. Barr is the first Republican to take this seat since Ernie Fletcher was first elected in 1999. Fletcher resigned his seat after being elected as governor of Kentucky.
With this victory, Barr, a Lexington lawyer, has made Kentucky’s congressional delegation the most Republican that it has ever been. The only remaining Democrat is Rep. John Yarmuth, of the 3rd Congressional District in Louisville, who easily defeated his two underfunded challengers, Republican Brooks Wicker and Independent Robert DeVore, Jr.
The 6th Congressional District is based in Central Kentucky, which includes the major cities of Lexington and Frankfort, the state capital. This could represents a trend in Kentucky that its major cities are turning toward the Republican party, as Chandler had held this seat since 2004.
Some would say that this was one of Kentucky’s most negative races as both parties resulted to name-calling. At one point Chandler called Barr a “criminal,” and Barr in turn called Chandler a “low-life.”
The candidates spent a total of $4 million on this campaign. But Barr's most successful step in unseating Chandler came with his stance on coal. In a state where coal is king, Barr was able to get coal executives and Central Kentucky voters to back his campaign.