Congressman John Yarmuth sat with KSR host Matt Jones at DCCC meeting in D.C.

08/26/2015 08:46 PM

Kentucky’s lone federal delegate U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth of Louisville accompanied Matt Jones to a sit-down meeting with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in Washington, D.C., Yarmuth said in an interview with Pure Politics.

Jones is being wooed by national Democrats in an effort to find a challenger to Republican U.S. Rep. Andy Barr of Lexington in the 6th Congressional District.

“I think he’s an extremely bright, appealing guy,” Yarmuth said of Jones on Tuesday. “He has a built-in base. He has 10s of thousands of people who listen to him everyday.

“As I told him, ‘Even a Republican who listens to you everyday is probably going to vote for you because there’s a connection there.’”

Rick VanMeter, a spokesman for Barr, issued a statement on Jones’ interest in Congress on Monday, saying that Jones’ appeal only stretches to sports, not to politics.

“Like Congressman Barr, KSR listeners are passionate about University of Kentucky athletics, not politics,” VanMeter said in a statement. “Apparently, the national Democratic campaign committee knows so little about our state, they have confused the two.”

While Yarmuth likes Jones’ chances, he said, “We’ll see,” if the host of Kentucky Sports Radio changes his career path from talking hoops to crafting budgets.

“He has a pretty good gig now, which he’d have to give up,” Yarmuth said because of a stipulation stating that congressmen can’t have outside employment while holding office.

Jones has been outspoken in his role on the radio, but Yarmuth said that he does not believe that would be a problem for Jones — after all it, was Yarmuth who penned columns “for 15 years” but it did not hurt him.

“(Former Conrgesswoman) Anne Northup tried to use those columns against me, and you know I think there’s an analogous situation there in that people actually already knew who I was,” he said.

“People kind of looked at that and said, ‘We know. We’ve been reading him. We know who he is tell us why that’s a problem.’

“You build in a certain amount of loyalty and people get used to respecting your opinions if they see you all the time, or listen to you all the time,” he continued. “So, I don’t see where that’s a negative at all.”

Yarmuth said he’s certain Barr’s campaign would find ammunition in Jones’ show, but he said the electorate wants someone who will defend what they’ve said.

“He’s been doing that on-the-air for quite a while now,” Yarmuth said.


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