In victory speech, Barr calls for unity; Ernie Fletcher passes the torch to Barr in 6th Dist.

11/06/2012 10:45 PM

After sweeping 17 of 19 counties, Republican Congressman-elect Andy Barr said he is eager to “reach common ground with our opponents” and praised four term incumbent Ben Chandler and his supporters.

Barr defeated Chandler by more than 11,000 votes — roughly the total number of votes by which Rand Paul won the 19 counties of the 6th Congressional District during the 2010 U.S. Senate race.

The new district was supposed to make Chandler tougher to beat by removing Republican-leaning counties and adding counties in the northeast where Democrats have a 2-1 registration advantage.

“Particularly after redistricting, we faced an entrenched incumbent with a celebrated name in Kentucky in a district with twice as many registered Democrats as Republicans,” Barr said. “But when they told us we couldn’t win, we said, for the sake of the country, we cannot afford to lose.”

Watch the first part of his victory speech, as introduced by Agriculture Commissioner James Comer:

Barr thanked Chandler for his “gracious” concession call and for his service in Congress over the last eight years. And to Chandler’s supporters, Barr said he hopes they get to know him.

“I want you to know that while I have strong convictions and principled beliefs, I recognize I don’t always have all the answers,” he said in calling for Chandler’s supporters to join him.

You can read updates from the Barr celebration here.

The last Republican to represent the Central Kentucky district was Ernie Fletcher, who held the seat from 1999 until winning the governorship in 2003.

Fletcher praised Barr, who worked in Fletcher’s administration as general counsel for the Governor’s Office of Local Development.

“This was not a district they expected to lose,” Fletcher said of U.S. House Democrats.


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