• John McGary, Woodford Sun News Editor

Here’s Johnny!

‘Tis the season

I know, I know – it’s still summer.

However, with Tuesday’s filing deadline for nonpartisan races and independent candidates in our rearview mirror, we now know who’ll be on the ballot for the Nov. 6 general election.

Yard signs will soon be sprouting out of the ground like late summer flowers – or weeds, depending on your view of the candidate. Pamphlets will be left under windshield wipers, door knockers on, well, doors, and ads will be popping up in your newspaper of record.

(That’s this one, I hope.)

Another sign of the season is the Sun’s question-and-answer series for candidates in contested races, which will begin running in a few weeks. Next week, we’ll announce the schedule for the series, after huddling in smoke-filled rooms to decide which races to cover and which questions to ask. Of course, because smoke-filled rooms are bad for you and, truth be told, we don’t really have any, like Uncle Sam when he was recruiting for the Army, we need you.

As we did in the weeks leading to the May primary, we’re asking Sun readers to contribute questions for the candidates. We ask that they be issue-oriented and can, preferably, be posed to incumbents and challengers alike. Your contributions helped make our primary Q & A’s, in this reporter’s deservedly humble opinion, a success.

You can send them to john@woodfordsun.com.

I’m not the only observer to suggest that, for all the disgust folks have for politicians at the state and federal level, citizens can still have plenty of impact in local races. For that matter, they can have plenty of impact on what goes on after Election Day, too. Each week, I see familiar faces at city council and fiscal court meetings, most of whom are not candidates for those offices. Most of them just seem to want to keep an eye and at least one ear on the activities of their elected officials, and that’s a good thing.

Kudos to them and kudos in advance to every Dear Reader who sends us questions.

Barr vs. McGrath

Perhaps the most important race in the state is the battle between Republican U.S. Rep. Andy Barr and Democratic challenger Amy McGrath in Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District. It’s also one of two dozen or so across the country that could decide which party runs the U.S. House of Representatives in 2019.

Barr, 45 is a three-term incumbent, a prolific fundraiser who, if he is reelected and his party keeps control of the House, may land a committee chairmanship next year.

McGrath, 43, is the Democrats’ dream candidate; a Marine fighter pilot and political newcomer who upset Lexington Mayor Jim Gray in the May primary.

The 6th District, like the others in Kentucky save the 3rd in Louisville, has been turning red the last several years, so McGrath’s ability to paint Barr as a “yes man” for President Trump will be limited. Likewise, Barr’s attempt to paint McGrath as an extreme liberal who’ll vote to elect U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi as speaker likely won’t have the punch it would against another candidate.

One thing’s certain: millions of dollars will be spent on political advertisements for and against each of them (some of which we hope finds a way to the Sun). Many of the ads will be misleading at best, and folks who base their vote on such things alone will be – how do I say this politely? – ill-informed.

Barr and McGrath each took part in the primary Q & A series and we expect they’ll do so again. We also plan profiles on each of them for our Oct. 25countywide edition. Actually, every issue of the Sun is available throughout the county. What sets our annual countywide issue apart is that we mail a free copy to every residence in Woodford County. Another thing that sets it apart is the increased number of gray hairs on Sun staffers in the weeks leading up to it. However, with a bit of extra ad revenue and a few new subscriptions, we can afford a few bottles of hair dye. Anyway, send us those questions, and, as they say on TV, stay tuned. Summer reruns are almost over.

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