Andy Barr leaves open another congressional run while speaking to GOP leaders

11/06/2010 03:15 PM

ELIZABETHTOWN — Republican congressional candidate Andy Barr, who was just shy of knocking off Democratic U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler, hinted to Republican activists Saturday that he might gear back up for a re-match.

Barr told the 80 Republicans attending the party’s state central committee meeting that he would continue to advocate for the Republican principles whether he was a “congressman, a private citizen or a congressional candidate.”

Barr is currently trailing current Chandler by 649 votes, according to the official counts of the county clerks in the 16 counties that make up the 6th congressional district. But Barr has requested a recanvass of the votes and has refused to concede until that recanvass — scheduled for Nov. 12 — is finished. The recanvass calls for the county clerks to re-check the totals from each precinct.

During his three-minute speech to fellow Republicans, Barr sounded a lot like a candidate who knew he had lost, thanking many of the party’s leaders for their help. And Barr, a Lexington lawyer and an aide during Gov. Ernie Fletcher’s administration, said he was proud of running a dark-horse campaign that nearly unseated Chandler, who had served three full terms.

Many of the other GOP leaders also seemed to concede defeat in the race while praising Barr’s campaign.

U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said it looked like Barr has lost “by an eyelash.” And Republican Party of Kentucky chairman Steve Robertson sounded defeated, yet proud of the close tally, when mentioning Barr’s race.

-Reporting and videos produced by Kenny Colston

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