Strong Democratic candidates join the race to unseat anti-Obamacare Kentucky Republican


Kentucky’s GOP Rep. Andy Barr is willing to rubber-stamp the anti-immigrant, health-care-destroying Trump agenda. Now Democrats are lining up to give him an early retirement.

At a recent dinner hosted by the Lexington Medical Society, Kentucky Republican Andy Barr told a room full of 100 physicians that no patients would lose their health insurance or face higher premiums if the GOP's health care repeal plan became law.

That’s just a lie, and one of the many reasons Democrats are lining up to run against him in Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District.

And Barr’s willingness to lie to his constituents, and to embrace of the most extreme elements of the Trump administration, has Democrats in this red state eager to take him on.


State Sen. Reggie Thomas was the first Democrat to throw his hat in the ring, with Barr’s embrace of a health care bill that would ruin the lives of thousands of Kentuckians as a motivating factor.

"I don't think people in this congressional district, number one, want to see their healthcare taken away, number two, see their insurance premiums rise or, number three, want to be denied health insurance," Thomas said.

More recently, retired Marine Lt. Col. Amy McGrath announced that she, too, would like to hand Barr an early retirement. The first woman Marine to fly an F-18 in combat, bucking years of discrimination and numerous naysayers, McGrath released an introductory ad that has gone viral, and for good reason.

The video showcases her grit and determination, and proves she is not afraid to stand up to Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress.

"Some are telling me a Democrat can't win that battle in Kentucky," McGrath says in the ad. "We'll see about that."

Meanwhile, Barr is still fighting for a health care bill with a dismal 17 percent approval rating. He recently told reporters that "we’ve got to be persistent on health care."

While he claims he would only support a bill that would lower cost and protect pre-existing conditions, his support of the House Republicans' plan proves that he cares more about the approval of Trump than that of his constituents in Kentucky.

And it's not only his harmful mendacity on health care that has Democrats eager to challenge him.

Barr has supported anti-immigrant legislation. He voted for a House bill that would penalize states and localities that enact “sanctuary city” laws, despite the fact that police chiefs across the country agree that sanctuary city policies help keep crime down.

Apparently forgetting the 2008 financial crisis, Barr also wants to give favors to Wall Street. He voted for a bill that would drastically curtail Dodd-Frank financial regulations, and which was described by one member of Congress as the "single worst piece of legislation I’ve ever seen."

And Barr also has a marked and documented hostility to the rights of women to control their own bodies

The Republican Congress is starting their August recess as one of the most failed bodies in legislative history.

And Barr is an integral piece to that failure, caring more about Trump and his Wall Street cronies than his constituents in Kentucky.

But Democrats are lining up to stand up and fight back for the people of Kentucky’s 6th district, because they know one thing: Kentuckians deserve better.

Stand Up Fight Back is a regular series that focuses on Democrats at the federalstate, and local level who are taking real, concrete actions to further the resistance and fight for progressive values.