The Chatter: Matt Jones courted to challenge Andy Barr; Hillary email scandal "political bomb" in Ky.

08/24/2015 02:59 PM

Controversial sports radio host Matt Jones is considering challenging U.S. Rep. Andy Barr for the 6th District Congressional seat in 2016.

Jones, an unabashed supporter of President Barack Obama, first confirmed he has been approached by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to the Lexington Herald-Leader’s Sam Youngman on Sunday.

The host of affiliated sports program Kentucky Sports Radio, told his listeners on Monday that he was considering a run for office, but had not yet made up his mind. Jones told fans he would make his decision before the start of basketball season.

Rick VanMeter, a spokesman for Congressman Barr, issued a statement on Jones’ interest in the position saying Barr is “a big fan of Kentucky Sports Radio,” but warned the Democrat away from a run for office.

“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.

“Regardless, Congressman Barr remains focused not on politics but on doing the job he was elected to do and tirelessly advocating for the interests of the people of central and eastern Kentucky. Sixth District voters appreciate this, they know Andy Barr and they agree with his values and record of accessibility and advocacy.”

Jones would not necessarily have to give up his sports show to run for Congress, but stations airing his program may be requested to offer equal air time to Barr, and other potential candidates.

A spokesperson for the Federal Communications Commission told Pure Politics the decision to offer equal air time is made at the affiliate or station level, and likely would not come to Jones directly or even appear in his broadcast time.

Hillary Clinton and Kentucky’s gubernatorial race

Chuck Todd, the host of NBC’s “Meet the Press”, has already predicted that Kentucky’s gubernatorial election could be the “last of the Obama wars,” but now the Todd says Hillary Clinton’s expanding problems with her private email server could play a role too.

In a clip from NBC’s “Morning Joe”, promoted by the Republican Governor’s Association, Todd says that it’s hard enough for Kentucky Democrats to run in the current political environment, but that Clinton’s email drama muddies the waters even more.

“I have heard on the ground – this Hillary thing – is like, it’s the last thing they need. If they lose this race, they almost would attribute it more to Hillary than Obama,” Todd said. “So, that’s your definition of a political bomb.”

“That Hillary thing,” is the growing chatter that Clinton possibly violated government regulations as Secretary of State by using her own private email server – which could include classified documents and other sensitive information.


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