Gray is running for Congress in the Sixth District

By BERRY CRAIG

AFT Local 1360

Before he took the podium as featured speaker for the Alben Barkley Democratic Dinner in Paducah last August, Third District Congressman John Yarmuth, D-Louisville, hinted that Lexington Mayor Jim Gray might toss his hat in the ring for Congress in the Sixth District.

The next night--the eve of the Fancy Farm picnic--Yarmuth repeated his prediction before he gave the keynote speech for the Mike Miller Democratic Bean Dinner at Kentucky Dam Village State Park. 

Yarmuth encouraged Gray to run, and he's in.

He'll battle state Sen. Reggie Thomas, D-Lexington, retired Marine Lt. Colonel and aviator Amy McGrath of Georgetown and perennial candidate Geoff Davis of Lexington in the May 22 Democratic primary.

We just received this email:   

"I’ve got some exciting news, and I wanted you to be the first to know: Today, I’m announcing my campaign to represent Kentucky’s 6th congressional district.

"I’ve had the privilege of serving Kentucky as a business leader and as mayor of Lexington. And as I look at our country, and partisan politicians who are making life harder on struggling Kentuckians, I’m troubled. I know this community deserves better. We need to reject politics as usual and demand more.

"That...why I’m running for Congress. Join the team >>

"Too many people are working harder but not getting ahead, and the American Dream is threatened. Health care costs are rising. The price of a good education is higher than ever. Wages aren’t growing fast enough to keep up. And Washington is too broken to solve these problems because of partisan politicians like Andy Barr, who vote the way their party tells them -- not the way that’s best for Kentucky.

"We need more people in Congress who are willing to reach across the table, bring people together to solve problems, and protect the American Dream for the middle class. That’s what I’ve done as mayor, and that’s what I’ll do in Congress.

"This week I'll be in our congressional district listening and connecting with our people, remembering that God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason: to listen twice as much as we talk. Along the way, I'll offer the district what I offered Lexington: independent leadership focused on getting things done for everyone.

"But I can't do it alone....I need you to stand with our team to reject the partisan politics that are destroying America. Please join me >>"

The Kentucky State AFL-CIO endorsed Thomas for the state Senate and Gray when he challenged Sen. Rand Paul last year. 

Thomas and Gray have spoken to state AFL-CIO Executive Board meetings. Thomas and McGrath spoke at the recent state AFL-CIO convention in Lexington.

As of today, Young is the only candidate who has officially filed with the office of Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes. The filing deadline for the Democratic and Republican primaries is Jan. 30.  

Typically, the state AFL-CIO does not endorse candidates in contested primaries.