Kentucky: Former Fletcher Aide Eyeing Chandler Race

Posted September 16, 2009 at 6:50pm

Andy Barr (R), a one-time deputy general counsel to former Gov. Ernie Fletcher (R), announced Wednesday that he was forming an exploratory committee as he contemplates challenging Rep. Ben Chandler (D) in the Lexington and Frankfort-based 6th district.

Barr, who serves as an attorney with the Lexington-based law firm Kinkead & Stilz, is also a former Congressional staffer who worked as a legislative assistant for then-Rep. Jim Talent (R-Mo.).

During his time with Fletcher, Barr helped defend the governor in a lawsuit brought by the state attorney general over the appointment of trustees at the University of Kentucky and other state universities.

“Our country is at a crossroads and needs leadership that will bring balance to the national political discussion,— Barr said in a statement announcing his exploratory committee. “I am taking the initial steps necessary to travel the district, talk with potential supporters, and raise the resources necessary to launch a successful campaign.—

After winning a special election in 2004, the moderate Chandler has had little trouble getting re-elected despite the fact that he hails from a conservative district that voted for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) by 12 points in last year’s presidential race. Chandler has been mentioned as a possible gubernatorial candidate in the past, and earlier this cycle he was seen as a prime candidate for Senate until he declined a bid.