Congressman Barr says he will help Matt Bevin reach conservative Democrats

06/05/2015 03:45 PM

U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, R-Lexington, had to bridge the partisan divide to win two terms in the central Kentucky 6th Congressional District, and he says that knowledge of the political terrain will be put to use for GOP governor nominee Matt Bevin.

The 6th Congressional District has 1.6 times more registered Democrats than Republicans, but Barr was able to defeat incumbent U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler in 2012 and hold the seat facing a Democratic challenge in 2014. The incumbent congressman used some well-placed ads and had the benefit of President Barack Obama on the ballot, but he also credits voter identification effort to win.

Helping identify the right people, Barr says, is important for Bevin and he will open up his iPhone contacts to help him compete in the general election against Democratic candidate Jack Conway.

“We just want to actively campaign with him make sure he knows some of the same great people in central and eastern Kentucky that we’ve gotten to know, and especially the conservative Democrats,” Barr said. “It used to be that conservatives in the state that had to register as Democrats to vote in primaries — that’s no longer the case.”

Several Republicans have said the major test for Bevin will be fundraising, so those introductions will be vital to Bevin who spent nearly $2 million during the Republican primary. Conway had more than $1.3 million in the bank, according to a pre-primary report filed with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance.

Bevin met with Barr at the end of May, an occurrence that went noticed by state media because of the timing.

Bevin’s campaign had been scheduled to attend the Hardin County Rotary Club’s meeting May 26, but he instead opted to meet with Barr and other lawmakers. U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell spoke at the Rotary event.


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