Chandler Ponders Future After Losing Election

Nov 10, 2012

U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler says he's not sure what the future holds for him after he leaves elected office in January. Chandler told the Lexington Herald-Leader and The Courier-Journal that he hasn't made up his mind about what he'll do, but he has several options. Some of those include a possible appointment to a government position, lobbying or practicing law.

Chandler also didn't rule out another run for public office in the future. But right now, he says he's looking forward to spending some time with his family at home in central Kentucky. Chandler has served as a congressman since 1994, but held state offices before that.

He is the grandson of A.B. "Happy" Chandler, a former governor and U.S. senator.

"I have no idea what the future holds," he said Thursday morning after losing his seat to Republican Andy Barr. "Right now, two days after the election, I'm not interested in doing anything," he said with a laugh. "But I don't rule anything entirely out."

He noted that the 6th District is a conservative one _ he won re-election over Barr in 2010 by a mere 648 votes.

"To have held it for nine years is a pretty good piece of work," he said. "As soon as President (Barack) Obama was elected in 2008, it was clear that I was on the target list for Republicans. They immediately pumped millions of dollars in here to try to defeat me.

"And two years ago, I was able to pull it out. They did everything they could this year to tie me with the president, who is unpopular in Kentucky. With all my various campaigns, I think I hold the record of the most negative ads run against a Kentucky political figure."

Asked whether he would be interested in the presidency of Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, where President Doug Whitlock has announced his intention to retire next year, Chandler said he thought it would be "an attractive job for anybody."

One thing for certain is that he'll be spending more time at home in Woodford County.

"The idea of living in Central Kentucky more, not having to constantly raise campaign funds and running back and forth to Washington, is something I look forward to--at least for now," he said.