Chandler: Obama still the best candidate, decision to skip convention 'party' not a snub

07/16/2012 05:08 PM

Democratic U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler said he’s sorry if anyone views his decision to skip the Democratic National Convention as a snub to the president but he said he has a re-election campaign to focus on when the Democrats convene in Charlotte in early September.

“I need to be working rather than going to a party,” Chandler, of Versailles, said Monday before the dedication of the Veterans Memorial Wildlife Management Area in Georgetown.

But Chandler said he supports President Barack Obama as “the best candidate.” Here’s the interview:

Chandler faces Republican Andy Barr in a rematch of the 2010 race. And Barr out-raised Chandler over the last two months bringing in $359,508 compared to the incumbent’s $269,388, according to the reports filed this week covering the period from May 3 through June 30. Chandler still holds a nearly two-to-one advantage in cash on hand, $1.35 million to nearly $760,000 for Barr.

Another former Democratic congressman, Ken Lucas who represented the 4th District in Northern Kentucky from 1999 through 2004, said President Obama’s lack of popularity in Kentucky is “not helpful” to Democrats such as Chandler.

And he said in this interview that Chandler is right to focus on being in the 6th District rather than going to the Democratic National Convention, which starts Sept. 3.

Lucas, in that interview, referenced outside groups getting involved in races like the 6th Congressional District contest. Already a Democratic group — Patriot Majority USA — ran an ad on Chandler’s behalf.

A supporter of Barr’s filed a complaint alleging improper coordination with Chandler’s campaign after using footage from Chandler’s 2010 ads.

Chandler said Monday there was “nothing in the way of collusion” with the group. Here’s how he answered questions about that:

Correction: An earlier version incorrectly described the most recent campaign finance reporting period for Chandler and Barr. It only covered the last two months not three.

About Ryan Alessi

Ryan Alessi joined cn|2 in May 2010 as senior managing editor and host of Pure Politics. He is now pursuing an advanced degree in non-fiction writing from Murray State University and is a regular contributor to Pure Politics. Ryan has covered politics for more than 14 years, including seven years as a reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader. Ryan can be reached at purepolitics@twcable.com or @mycn2 on Twitter.

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