Democrat Michael Coblenz announces candidacy for 6th Congressional District race

07/12/2013 10:30 AM

Lexington patent attorney and former Air Force B-52 navigator Michael Coblenz announced his candidacy for the 6th Congressional Distict seat on Friday.

Coblenz said the focus of his campaign is to restructure the political system to allow third parties to participate in elections.

“Our political process has ground to a halt, and we’ll only get it moving again with the introduction of fresh ideas. Conservatives claim to believe in competition, so it’s time to introduce real competition into politics. Liberals claim to believe in democracy, so it’s time to open our political process and make it more democratic,” Coblenz said in a statement.

During a telephone interview with Pure Politics, Coblenz described himself as a “moderate to liberal Democrat.” Cobelnz also said in a press release that his goal is to create a more “innovative society.”

“The most tolerant and open societies are the most innovative, and the most economically successful. Businesses understand this, and it’s time for government to learn, and apply, this lesson,” Coblenz said.

In 2010, Coblenz ran in the Democratic primary for the 45th District House seat in southwest Fayette County against Matthew Vanderpool. Vanderpool defeated him with 2,499 votes to Coblenz’s 1,492 in that contest. Rep. Stan Lee won re-election in the general election.

Coblenz raised just over $6,000 in the 2010 primary election, but he said he would need quite a bit more than that to run in the 6th Congressional District contest. While Coblenz said he would “wait and see what kind of response” he gets from his announcement he thinks he can be competitive in the race raising $250,000.

Fellow Democrat and Lexington-based education advocate Elisabeth Jensen jumped into the race in mid-June — just two weeks before the 2nd Quarter fundraising deadline. She said she raised more than $74,000 in those two weeks.

In addition to Jensen and Coblenz, lumber yard owner Joe Palumbo — the son of Lexington state Rep. Ruth Ann Palumbo, D-Lexington — is getting closer to announcing his intentions to run. And former Lexington mayor Teresa Isaac is still eying the race.

The winner of the Democratic primary will take on U.S. Rep. Andy Barr who won the seat in 2012 against incumbent U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler. Barr raised more than $1.5 million in his general election campaign.

Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics available exclusively on Spectrum News. Pure Politics is the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like his coverage of the backlog of DNA rape kits waiting to be tested in Kentucky. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Pure Politics airs weeknight at 7 and 11:30 on Spectrum News. Follow Nick on Twitter @NStorm_Politics. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or


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