Matt Jones' recent forays into politics have not gone unnoticed in Washington.
Jones, the host and founder of Kentucky Sports Radio, confirmed to the Herald-Leader that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has asked him to consider taking on U.S. Rep. Andy Barr in next year's 6th Congressional District race.
Jones said Friday that he has been listening to the Washington campaign group's recruiting pitches, but he didn't want to talk much about the topic until he has a chance to discuss it with his radio audience.
A graduate of Transylvania University and Duke law school, Jones began making waves in the political arena during last year's U.S. Senate race with tough questioning of Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Never miss a local story.
He followed that up this year with a live Republican primary debate on his University of Kentucky sports radio show, earning him an invite to serve as emcee of the political speaking at this year's Fancy Farm picnic.
The barbs Jones dished out to Kentucky's political class in far Western Kentucky could well have been a warm-up act if he decides to challenge Barr.
Jermaine House, a spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, confirmed that his group has been in talks with Jones, noting Jones' enormous and enthusiastic fan base in a statement to the Herald-Leader.
"If Matt Jones can transfer the passion his listeners have for him to a campaign, then Republicans would have a lot to worry about in Kentucky 6," House said.
Barr's spokesman could not be reached for comment this weekend.
There's little doubt that Jones' no-nonsense style and near universal name identification could give Barr a scare after the Republican waltzed to re-election last year with a 20-point win over Elisabeth Jensen of Lexington.
Jones, a Middlesboro native, has one immediate hurdle to overcome if he decides to move forward: He doesn't live in the district.
But given the nature of his work, Jones is in Lexington about half the week, and he said he plans to move back to the city within the next year, regardless of whether he runs.
An unabashed Democrat and a proud fan of President Barack Obama, Jones has never shied from his political leanings, even when they have drawn the ire of a fan base that might share Jones' views on the supremacy of Kentucky basketball but not his views on the president.
Jones' political philosophy might be at odds with the conservative-leaning congressional district, but the idea of his candidacy has caught fire with some Democrats.
Former U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler, the last Democrat to hold the seat once held by Henry Clay, said this weekend that "Kentuckians of all stripes would be fortunate if Matt Jones were to offer himself for public service."
"He is not afraid to tell it like it is and obviously cares deeply about the people of Kentucky," Chandler said. "Very capable, compelling young man."
Said Jensen: "I love the idea of Matt Jones for the congressional seat, and if he runs, I will wholeheartedly support him."