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 BarrKentucky radio host: Schumer recruit can't beat McConnell On The Money: Wells Fargo chief gets grilling | GOP, Pence discuss plan to defeat Dem emergency resolution | House chair sees '50-50' chance of passing Dem budget | Trump faces pressure over Boeing Campaign to draft Democratic challenger to McConnell starts raising funds 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 TrumpJoint Chiefs chairman denies report that US is planning to keep 1K troops in Syria Kansas Department of Transportation calls Trump 'delusional communist' on Twitter Trump has privately voiced skepticism about driverless cars: report 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.