Republican Andy Barr wins contested House race, will serve another term


Congressman Any Barr speaks during the make America great again rally on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018 at Alumni Coliseum in Richmond, Ky. Photo by Jordan Prather | Staff

Jacob Eads

Republican incumbent Congressman Andy Barr will serve another term in the U.S. House of Representatives after defeating Democratic challenger Ret. Lt. Col. Amy McGrath in the race for Kentucky’s Sixth Congressional District seat. Associated Press called the race around 8:45 p.m. on election night.

At that time it was called, Barr had received 50.9 percent of the vote with 94 percent of precincts reporting compared to McGrath’s 47.9 percent. 

In the months leading up to Election Day, Barr and McGrath’s campaigns combined for over $12 million in funding, a new record in Kentucky. Barr has served in the House of Representatives since 2013.

Barr’s win is sure to please the rest of the members of the Republican party who are vying to maintain their slight majority in the House. Leading up to the election Barr hosted a slew of Republican leaders like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Paul Ryan and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise.

Multiple media outlets pinned Kentucky’s Sixth Congressional District race— which involves Lexington and many of the surrounding counties— as having immense importance for the battle for majority in the House of Representatives. Should Democrats wrest majority away from their Republican counterparts after Tuesday’s votes are totaled, they may have power to undermine the agenda of President Donald Trump’s White House and better dictate the direction of legislation.

In the 435-seat House, Republicans held 235 seats and Democrats 193 before election day 2018, with seven seats vacant. For a party to have a majority, it needs at least 218 seats. According to the Cook Political Report, a non-partisan report which measures the competitiveness of elections, 31 different races across the country were listed as “toss-ups”— meaning that the seat could easily swing right or left. Twenty-nine of those toss-up seats had Republican incumbents— Barr’s seat included.

The outcome in the Sixth District is also undoubtedly good news to President Donald Trump, who held a campaign rally in central Kentucky to stump for Barr in October.

“For the sake of our freedom, and for the sake of our children, we are going to work. We are going to fight, and we are going to win, win, win,” Trump said at the October rally.