Congratulations to U.S. Rep. Andy Barr who held off a strong challenge by Democrat Amy McGrath to keep Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District seat.
Barr, who held a rally with President Donald Trump in Richmond and unleashed a barrage of attack ads against McGrath, was soundly defeated in his hometown of Lexington while voters in Madison and more rural counties carried him to victory.
Barr will represent a deeply divided district in a deeply divided country. It will be interesting to see if this close call motivates him toward the middle or reinforces his loyalty to Trump’s extremism.
Barr got his fourth term in Congress off to a good start Tuesday night by striking a conciliatory tone in his victory speech. He acknowledged the deep divisions in the country, reached out to McGrath supporters and vowed to “do everything in my power to find common ground with your concerns.” He didn’t even mention Trump, but instead extolled his staff, campaign crew and the people, industries and natural beauty of the 6th District.
Despite her military credentials, McGrath — a post-9/11 fighter pilot and retired Marine lieutenant colonel — failed to make her hoped-for inroads in rural areas. Even after Barr labeled her “too liberal for Kentucky,” she stuck to her pledge to run a positive campaign without attacking her opponent.
It wasn’t pretty, but Barr did what it took to win. We wish him well.