John Yarmuth files for sixth Congressional term
01/04/2016 05:40 PM
FRANKFORT – Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth has filed for re-election.
The 68-year-old Yarmuth, who was first elected to represent the Louisville area in 2006, will be seeking his sixth term in office. Yarmuth has won each of his re-election campaigns by double digits.
Yarmuth’s priorities have included improving education, expanded health care, benefits for veterans, finance reform, and combating gun violence.
Yarmuth said that one of the chief reasons that he’s running is the fact that he didn’t want the only message that Kentuckians hear on federal issues to be a conservative one.
“Clearly in last year’s campaign Senate race, and in the governor’s race this year, a lot of issues were raised that involve the federal government and I had a different perspective on them than the candidates,” Yarmuth said. “Particularly with things like, what’s really causing problems in the coal industry? I don’t believe that it’s the EPA. I think there are market forces much more critical.”
Yarmuth says that many of his priorities in the House will remain the same even though movement of any legislation will be tough if the Democrats remain in the minority.
“Assuming that we don’t take back the House, my priorities are, again, to make the case, both nationally and in Kentucky, on issues like health care reform, on issues like gun safety legislation, immigration reform, that’s still incredibly important,” Yarmuth said.
Yarmuth believes that the 2016 presidential election could potentially be the start of improving Democrats fortunes around the country.
“There’s something around 50 Republican held congressional House seats that were in districts that President Obama carried in 2008,” Yarmuth said. “I think that virtually everybody that I’ve talked to believes that Trump and Cruz will be a serious drag on the down ballot races across the country.”
Yarmuth acknowledged President Barack Obama’s unpopularity in Kentucky, and feels that one of the biggest reasons is that the citizens of the commonwealth are uncomfortable because he “represents a changing society that a lot of people in Kentucky and elsewhere are just not comfortable with.”
“He is the physical manifestation of a changing world, and I think he makes people feel uneasy for that reason,” Yarmuth said.
Yarmuth is also in the process of attempting to find a viable Democratic candidate to run against Republican incumbent U.S. Senator Rand Paul, but admitted that there is no one at present.
“I have had conversations with the DSCC (Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee) and with a number of people in Kentucky trying to get that done,” Yarmuth said. “I know there are some pretty viable candidates thinking about it. I wouldn’t say that they are likely at this point.”
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