Chandler, Barr Race to Finish in Kentucky's Lone High-Profile U.S. House Race

Nov 5, 2012

Democratic U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler, in a tight race with Republican challenger Andy Barr, tried to shirk President Barack Obama's shadow during the final full day of campaigning ahead of the general election Tuesday.

Both candidates mobilized their get-out-the-vote efforts, hoping to tip the race. In the contentious rematch for the 6th District seat, the two have spent some $4 million, with most of that going to mean-spirited TV ads that have been running around-the-clock since late summer.

The Chandler-Barr matchup has been Kentucky's most high-profile race, though voters in the state also will make their choices for president, state legislators, local judges and prosecutors. They'll also decide whether to make hunting a constitutional right, and weigh in on five other congressional races across the state, none of which are considered competitive.

Chandler's race is different. Barr and his Republican supporters have built the race almost entirely around Obama, an unpopular political figure in Kentucky. They have painted Chandler as the president's surrogate, particularly on coal issues, and it's a portrayal that Chandler rejects.

Despite having softened his tone over the past two weeks, Chandler referred to Barr on Monday as an ideologue who would only add to the gridlock in Washington. Chandler said Kentucky needs an independent voice in Washington