Lexington mayor launches bid for Congress

Lexington mayor launches bid for Congress

Jim Gray, the Democratic mayor of Lexington, Ky., announced Tuesday that he is launching a bid for Congress in the Bluegrass State’s 6th Congressional District.

“We need more leaders in Congress who are willing to bring people together to solve problems and protect the American Dream for all hardworking Kentuckians. That’s what I’ve done as Mayor, and that’s what I’ll do in Congress,” Gray said in a statement.

Gray is entering the Democratic primary for the seat currently filled by Rep. Andy BarrGarland (Andy) Hale BarrMidterms will show voters are tired of taking back seat to Wall Street Lawmakers demand answers from Mnuchin on Trump tariffs Overnight Health Care: Trump officials want more time to reunite families | Washington braces for Supreme Court pick | Nebraska could be next state to vote on Medicaid expansion MORE (R-Ky.), who was first elected in 2012.

He will be up against State Sen. Reggie Thomas (D) and retired Lt. Col. Amy McGrath in the party’s May primary election.

Gray previously ran an unsuccessful bid for Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulLewandowski: Trump-Putin meeting advances goal of world peace Rand Paul to travel to Russia after downplaying election meddling Implementation of a 'universal basic income' program would be a disaster MORE’s (R-Ky.) seat. The GOP senator defeated him by a double-digit margin.

In his announcement, Gray slammed Barr for voting with the rest of the GOP conference rather than “the way that’s best for Kentucky.”

“Health care costs are rising. The price of a good education is as high as ever. Wages aren’t growing fast enough to keep up,” Gray said.

“And Washington is too broken to solve these problems because of partisan politicians like Andy Barr who vote the way their party tells them, not the way that’s best for Kentucky,” he said. 

Gray, who has been Lexington’s mayor since 2011, boasted that he raised $750,000 during his Senate campaign before the 2016 Democratic primary, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.

McGrath, who described herself in a campaign ad as the first female Marine "to fly in an F-18 in combat," reported more than $550,000 cash on hand in her campaign's October report.

Democrats are seeking to wrestle control from Republicans in both the House and the Senate, as the party hopes to make the 2018 midterm elections a referendum on President Trump’s tenure in office thus far.