Politics & Government

Fighter pilot considers challenging U.S. Rep. Andy Barr

Andy Barr talks health care with hostile audience

U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, R-Lexington, sparred with some crowd members on the issue of repealing the Affordable Care Act during a "Coffee with your Congressman" event in Mt. Sterling on Feb. 22, 2017.
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U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, R-Lexington, sparred with some crowd members on the issue of repealing the Affordable Care Act during a "Coffee with your Congressman" event in Mt. Sterling on Feb. 22, 2017.

A combat fighter pilot who grew up in Northern Kentucky might run for U.S. Rep. Andy Barr’s seat, according to CNHI News.

Marine Lt. Col. Amy McGrath, a fighter pilot, former congressional aide and instructor at the U.S. Naval Academy has expressed interest in the race to Kentucky Democratic Party Chairwoman Sannie Overly.

“I can confirm that Col. McGrath is considering the race,” Overly told CNHI news. “I’m impressed with the caliber of the potential candidates, including Col. McGrath.”

McGrath told CNHI she could not comment on her future plans until retiring from active duty on June 1.

Speculation over who will challenge Barr in Central Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District has heated up as liberal activists have hounded Barr during his town hall meetings since President Donald Trump took office.

However, some of the bigger Democratic names have shown reluctance to join the race. Two of the biggest names, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes and former State Auditor Adam Edelen have both said they don’t plan on running.

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray has declined to comment on whether or not he’s considering the race.

After flying 85 combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, McGrath served as foreign policy adviser to U.S. Congresswoman Susan Davis, D-San Diego, according to CNHI news.

“She has been a trailblazer,” Davis told CNHI news. “She is not intimidated, so being a woman in the Congress would not intimidate her. She’s had far more difficult assignments.”

Barr has said he isn’t concerned about potential opposition right now.

“I’m not worried about politics. I’m worried about doing the job I was elected to do,” Barr said after a town hall in Lexington this week. “If I do the job I was elected to do, then the politics will take care of itself.”

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