Barry Webb, a repairman and welder for AK Steel in the Ashland area, is the Democratic nominee for an open state House seat in northeastern Kentucky.
Twenty-nine Democratic officials from the 96th House District, which covers Carter and Lewis counties, selected Webb on Monday night to represent their party in a Dec. 8 special election. The officials met at the Carter County Justice Center in Grayson.
Three others contending for the nomination were Jim Short of Olive Hill, Vernon Adkins of Olive Hill and David Hayes of Grayson.
The House seat was vacated earlier this year after former Rep. Robin Webb, D-Grayson, won a special election for the Senate seat vacated by Republican Charlie Borders. Gov. Steve Beshear appointed Borders to the state Public Service Commission.
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Barry Webb is not related to Robin Webb, although they have been friends since childhood.
Republican officials from the two counties are to meet Tuesday at the Carter County Justice Center to nominate their party's candidate.
Barry Webb, 50, of Grayson, is making his first bid for public office.
Webb said he will emphasize the importance of coal for his district. "The industry has been taking a beating. I've been involved in union politics. It's time for all of us to work together to support coal."
Webb said he and his wife, Karen, have a son and two stepdaughters.
Carter County Democratic Chairman Ron Bush said Webb has "a very good chance" of keeping the district in the Democratic fold.
"Carter County is primarily Democratic, and Lewis is mostly Republican. But Robin has always done well in both, and I think so will Barry Webb," Bush said.
The outcome of the race will not change the political makeup of the state House. Democrats now hold a 64-35 margin in the chamber.