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Barnes Makes Bid Official, Ties Graves to President

Democrats got their preferred candidate in the 6th district Monday, when former Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes (D) announced she’d challenge four-term Rep. Sam Graves (R) next year.

Standing outside her mother’s home in St. Joseph, Barnes took several swipes at Graves and President Bush.

“Sam Graves has voted 95 percent in favor of Bush policies, so for me he represents the Bush administration,” Barnes said, according to an online account in The Kansas City Star. “I think people across northwest Missouri are fed up with the way in which the Bush administration and Sam Graves have been handling not only the war, but many other issues.”

In an interview with the Star on Monday, Graves appeared to shrug off the challenge, saying he couldn’t think of many differences between himself and the former mayor. But in the paper’s print edition Monday, a Graves adviser made clear that the Republicans will try to associate Barnes with the city she led for eight years.

“Sam Graves represents the values of the 26 counties of the 6th district,” said the adviser, Jeff Roe. “She represents the values of the 26 blocks of downtown Kansas City. She will have a very difficult time convincing people in St. Joseph and the Northland that downtown Kansas City should get a second member of Congress.”

Barnes’ predecessor as mayor of Kansas City, now-Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D), represents the adjoining 5th district in Congress.

In addition to her announcement speech in St. Joseph, Barnes was scheduled to stump in Maryville, Chillicothe and Platte County on Monday.
— Josh Kurtz

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