Politics
8:00 am
Wed November 7, 2012

John Yarmuth, Now Sole Democrat in State Delegation, Takes Aim at Mitch McConnell

Congressman John Yarmuth standing with Senator Rand Paul
Credit Phillip Bailey / WFPL News

Congressman John Yarmuth talks to WFPL's Phillip Bailey.

With Rep. Ben Chandler's loss last night to Republican challenger Andy Barr, John Yarmuth of Louisville is now the only Democrat in Kentucky's federal delegation.

But he's now working on plans to bring more of his colleagues from the commonwealth to Washington after the 2014 election.

“I welcome the opportunity to be the spokesperson for a national policy that espouses a support for the middle class in the country," Yarmuth said in an interview with WFPL News.

"I think unfortunately, a lot of our Democrats have gotten a little uncertain or insecure in standing up for the policies our national party does."

The GOP also picked up several seats in the state House of Representatives and Kentucky voters resoundingly supported Mitt Romney in the presidential election. That makes the chances for a Democrat to win statewide seem slim. But Yarmuth has long been an outspoken critic of McConnell, and he's hopeful.

“Sen. McConnell has been one of the most divisive political actors in the United States," Yarmuth said.

"He has shown day after day that his interests are political and not human and I will spend the next two years doing everything I can to make sure he is a retired five-term United States senator."

Rumors about potential challengers for McConnell have picked up in recent weeks, with celebrity/activist Ashley Judd being the latest name raised. Yarmuth said Judd would be an intriguing candidate with a "passionate, forceful voice." And he said he'd support her campaign. But, he said that no matter who runs, that person needs to step forward soon.

“I really don't think we can wait until 2014," Yarmuth said. "Within the next few months, we have to decide on a candidate to oppose Senator McConnell. I think the idea of Ashley Judd is an intriguing idea. She as a passionate, forceful voice. I would have no problem supporting her. I think we need to sit down as a party and unite behind someone who can pose the greatest challenge to Senator McConnell in 2014.”

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