Kentucky Democrat announces challenge to GOP Rep. Andy Barr

Kentucky Democrat announces challenge to GOP Rep. Andy Barr
© Courtesy Hicks campaign

Kentucky Democrat Josh Hicks announced Thursday he’s jumping into the race to challenge four-term Rep. Andy BarrAndy Hale BarrOn the Trail: Forget the pundits, more electoral votes could be in play in 2020 Mnuchin to lawmakers: 'I'm highly encouraged you will' pass Trump's North America trade deal Kentucky Democrat moves closer to McConnell challenge MORE (R) in a district that narrowly went Republican in 2018.

Hicks, a Marine veteran and former police officer who currently practices law, says on his website he intends to focus on kitchen table issues, including lowering health care costs and curbing the opioid epidemic, as well as “getting corruption out of Washington.”

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“The way I was raised is that if there’s a job that needs doing, and no one is doing it, well then maybe you ought to step in and do it,” he said. “We need a representative who cares about ordinary folks, not someone who is bought and paid for. That’s why I’m running for Congress.”

The district is one of several that Democrats are eager to flip after Amy McGrath, another military veteran, came close to defeating Barr last year. While President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats ask if they have reason to worry about UK result Trump scramble to rack up accomplishments gives conservatives heartburn Seven years after Sandy Hook, the politics of guns has changed MORE carried Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District by more than 15 points in 2016, Barr won by just more than 3 points in 2018. 

McGrath is now challenging Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSherrod Brown backs new North American trade deal: 'This will be the first trade agreement I've ever voted for' McConnell: Bevin pardons 'completely inappropriate' House panel to hold hearing, vote on Trump's new NAFTA proposal MORE (R) for his Bluegrass State Senate seat.

Barr has positioned himself as a close ally of the White House, and Trump stumped for him in the final days of the 2018 race.

However, Democrats may hope that the lawmaker’s proximity to the administration might turn off swing voters in the suburban Lexington district. While Barr won reelection last year, several suburban districts across the country voted out their Republican representatives in favor of more centrist Democrats in what was widely seen as a rebuke of the White House.

The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election handicapper, rates the seat as “Likely Republican.”