Barr edges out Dem Amy McGrath in top Kentucky House race

Barr edges out Dem Amy McGrath in top Kentucky House race
© Greg Nash

Rep. Andy BarrGarland (Andy) Hale BarrDying on the track: Horse racing is at a crossroads On The Money: House chairman issues subpoenas for Trump's tax returns | Trump touts trade talks as China, US fail to reach deal | Five things to know about Trump's trade war with China | GOP offers support for Trump on tariffs GOP offers support for Trump on China tariffs MORE (R-Ky.) is projected to win reelection to Kentucky’s 6th District, fending off a strong challenge by Democrats in one of the most hotly contested House races this cycle.

Barr beat back a tough challenge from Democrat Amy McGrath, a former fighter pilot, in the suburban Lexington district. The Associated Press called the race with 94 percent of precincts reporting, with Barr at 50.9 percent and McGrath 47.9 percent.

It's a big victory for Republicans who are seeking to limit their losses as they fight to hold onto their House majority and protect suburban districts that have trended away from the party since President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump rips Dems' demands, impeachment talk: 'Witch Hunt continues!' Nevada Senate passes bill that would give Electoral College votes to winner of national popular vote The Hill's Morning Report - Pelosi remains firm despite new impeachment push MORE's election.

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Democrats felt more bullish about this red district because of McGrath's candidacy. McGrath burst onto the scene with a viral announcement video and was one of the top Democratic fundraisers of the cycle.

While Trump carried the 6th District by more than 15 points in 2016, the seat became one of the most competitive House battlegrounds in the midterms.

Democrats, who’ve been buoyed by enthusiasm this cycle, were hoping to also sweep some reach districts and expand the House battlefield. While it's a setback for Democrats, they didn't need to flip Kentucky's 6th District for a potential House takeover.

Barr positioned himself as a close ally of the president, who stumped for the congressman in the final days of the midterms.

McGrath, who defeated a primary opponent recruited by national Democrats, campaigned as a political outsider who vowed to reject the partisanship of Washington.

Updated at 9:02 p.m.