NRCC names Andy Barr among its first wave to advance in 2012 'Young Guns' program

02/06/2012 09:44 PM

While Republican 6th congressional district candidate Andy Barr has expressed concerns about the new shape of that Central Kentucky district, national Republicans signaled their confidence in him by promoting him in their “Young Guns” program.

Barr is among 11 Republican U.S. House candidates that the National Republican Congressional Committee elevated to “contender” status based on meeting certain campaign benchmarks, such as putting together a campaign team, plan and fundraising success.

“We are looking forward to working with Andy Barr, who has already proven himself by meeting rigorous benchmarks in the ‘Young Guns’ program that will position his campaign for victory,” said NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions of Texas said in a statement. “Andy Barr’s dedication and experience enables him to advocate effectively for pro-growth policies and fight the failed status quo in Washington.”

Barr raised $112,319 in the last quarter of 2011 and more than $427,000 since announcing his candidacy in June. He started 2012 with $364,584 on hand.

Two other Republicans — Patrick Kelly II of Lexington and Curtis Kenimer of Paris — also have filed for the 6th District GOP primary.

Barr, a Lexington lawyer, is vying for a rematch of the 2010 election against Democratic Congressman Ben Chandler of Versailles. Chandler raised $173,152 last quarter and $885,000 for the year and has nearly $865,000 on hand.

Chandler narrowly defeated Barr in the 2010 election winning by just 648 votes.

Barr and 10 other Republican congressional candidates are among the first wave of 33 potential challengers to incumbent Democrats open seat candidates to advance in the “Young Guns” program from being “on the radar” to being “contenders.”

At stake is additional fundraising and campaign support from NRCC. The program sets certain benchmarks that candidates must meet.

The news from Washington comes as Barr and his supporters have ramped up their lobbying of lawmakers to resist a compromise on the congressional district map. The suggested version that has come out negotiations among Republican Senate and Democratic House leaders, as well as representatives from some of the incumbent congressmen, would alter the 6th District by moving some conservatives areas, such as Garrard County and part of Jessamine County, into the 2nd District while spreading the 6th District east to some slightly Democratic counties, such as Bath, Rowan and Wolfe.


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