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 BarrThe Hill's Campaign Report: The political heavyweights in Tuesday's primary fights Democrat Josh Hicks wins Kentucky primary to challenge Andy Barr McGrath fends off Booker to win Kentucky Senate primary 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 TrumpTeachers union launches 0K ad buy calling for education funding in relief bill FDA head pledges 'we will not cut corners' on coronavirus vaccine Let our values drive COVID-19 liability protection 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 McConnellTeachers union launches 0K ad buy calling for education funding in relief bill No signs of breakthrough for stalemated coronavirus talks State aid emerges as major hurdle to reviving COVID-19 talks 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.”