National Democrats put Elisabeth Jensen on their radar screen

syoungman@herald-leader.comJune 6, 2014 

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced this week that congressional candidate Elisabeth Jensen's bid to unseat Republican U.S. Rep. Andy Barr in Central Kentucky has been moved to its "emerging race" column.

National Democrats have been keen on beating Barr, a first-term incumbent, but the DCCC seemed to cool on the race after it tried but failed to recruit another Democratic candidate before the January filing deadline.

When the DCCC announced the 35 districts on in its "Red to Blue" program in March, Kentucky's 6th Congressional District was not among those listed.

A DCCC spokesman said at the time that candidates could be added throughout the year, and in recent weeks, the committee appears to be taking another look at Jensen's campaign.

"Our message of fighting for working families and bringing the Kentucky values of common-sense problem solving to Washington is resonating across our community," Jensen said in a statement announcing her new status. "Our campaign is continuing to gain incredible momentum as Kentucky residents of every political party join together to fight back against the dysfunctional, extreme politics, driven by big money, that Congressman Barr practices in Washington."

Barr spokeswoman Catherine Gatewood declined to comment Friday on the DCCC's decision to add the contest to its lowest rung of competitive races. She said Barr was "focused on honoring America's veterans, not politics," on the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

U.S. Rep. Steve Israel, chairman of the DCCC, said in a statement provided by Jensen's campaign that Barr "proved he is not on the side of hardworking Kentucky families when he voted against re-opening the government and to jeopardize America's economy by sending it over the brink of a credit default."

Israel said the DCCC is "confident that Elisabeth Jensen will run an aggressive campaign holding Congressman Barr accountable for siding with the Tea Party over Kentucky residents."

Sam Youngman: (502) 875-3793. Twitter: @samyoungman. Blog:

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