Politics & Government

Lexington lawyer says he will seek Democratic nod to challenge Andy Barr

Michael Coblenz is an intellectual property attorney in Lexington.
Michael Coblenz is an intellectual property attorney in Lexington.

FRANKFORT — Lexington attorney Michael Coblenz said Friday he will seek the Democratic nomination next May for Central Kentucky's 6th Congressional District seat, now held by Republican U.S. Rep. Andy Barr.

Coblenz, 53, said he has filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to set up his candidacy.

He is the second Democrat to announce his candidacy to challenge Barr, a Lexington attorney who was elected to the U.S. House in 2012. Longtime education advocate Elisabeth Jensen of Lexington announced last month that she will seek the Democratic nomination.

Coblenz, a former member of the U.S. Air Force, ran unsuccessfully in 2010 for the state legislature in the Lexington district represented by Republican Stan Lee.

"I'm running for Congress for a number of reasons," Coblenz said. "First and foremost, I'm tired of politics being so silly, and campaigns being so condescending. Whatever else I do, I hope to address the problems we face as a nation in a serious, thoughtful and thorough manner."

He said his main goal is to introduce ideas — and propose legislation — "to restructure our political system to allow viable third parties to participate in our elections."