Democrats courting KSR's Matt Jones to run for Congress
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Could one of Kentucky's most popular radio personalities be trading the microphone for a congressional campaign?
National Democrats are recruiting Kentucky Sports Radio's Matt Jones to make a run.
Jones is a popular fixture on i-Heart radio, and Democrats believe Kentuckians "heart" him enough to beat incumbent Republican sixth district Congressman Andy Barr.
Talking UK Sports has gained Matt Jones a statewide following, but can Big Blue Nation propel Jones to his own statement win?
Jones confirms the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee approached him about challenging Barr.
"I am excited about the idea of public service. That's something that's always intrigued me, and I think it's something that I could be successful at, and that I would enjoy," Jones told WDRB News.
Jones' Kentucky Sports Radio show sometimes mixes politics and sports. Earlier this month he gave a rousing performance as emcee at Fancy Farm, including jabbing Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul for not attending.
"Now, Rand Paul is busy. He has a presidential race to lose. He's got to make sure to take care of that," said Jones to cheers of Democrats in the crowd.
Jones must now choose between his two passions, and it appears he's already honing his campaign speech.
"I think politicians are detached from the average, everyday American on both sides, Republican and Democrat. I want to bring a sort of realism into the world, if I do it. Big if," said Jones.
Jones would need to move to Lexington, which he says he was already planning to do.
Callers to his radio show polled in favor of a run.
"I'm actually a very good friend of Andy Barr's and the Barr family. So, he's a great guy. It would be a good race between two good gentlemen," said one caller.
Andy Barr's campaign released a statement saying:
"Congressman Barr is a big fan of Kentucky Sports Radio. But like Congressman Barr, KSR listeners are passionate about University of Kentucky athletics, not politics. Apparently, the national Democratic campaign committee knows so little about our state, they have confused the two. Regardless, Congressman Barr remains focused not on politics but on doing the job he was elected to do and tirelessly advocating for the interests of the people of central and eastern Kentucky. Sixth District voters appreciate this. They know Andy Barr, and they agree with his values and record of accessibility and advocacy," said Barr spokesman Rick VanMeter.
"I don't know a lot about Andy. I know a little bit about his positions, but I don't know about him. But in some ways, that's irrelevant to me because it won't be about him if I do it," said Jones.
Jones says he'll make his decision before the UK basketball's Big Blue Madness on Oct. 2.
The Democratic campaign committee also released a statement about its interest in Matt Jones:
"If Matt Jones can transfer the passion his listeners have for him to a campaign, then Republicans would have a lot to worry about in Kentucky's sixth district," said DCCC spokesman Jermaine House.
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