LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — A local Democrat has said he is ready to be a voice for the "regular people" of the Bluegrass and take on Republican Congressman Andy Barr.
The campaign for Josh Hicks released an ad on Tuesday morning that started off with the message that not enough representatives in Washington D.C. understand growing up poor.
Hicks grew up in Fleming County and said he served in the Marines for four years and also worked as a police office in Maysville.
Hicks is now a Lexington-based attorney and said he wants to run for issues that affect lives in the Sixth District.
"And that wide breadth of experience is what's really lacking. Not just the rural voice, but somebody who has this wide range of experience who's cut, and scratched and clawed and made their way to some modicum of success. Some little bit of success," said Hicks.
"I'm a regular guy. I come from a regular background. My hands have been dirty. I've done lots of work in my life," said Hicks. "I've had failures, I've had successes. And that's what makes me representative of the people in the Sixth District, because I think my story is much more like their story, and I think those stories are important to take to Washington D.C. and be told."
Hicks says that fellow Democrat Andy Beshear's victory in the governor's race proves that people care about issues that affect their lives.
"Heathcare, public education, and improving the tone and tenor of our politics can really move the needle," said Hicks.
In his campaign ad, Hicks calls out current 6th District Congressman Andy Barr and Senator Mitch McConnell. The ad accuses them of taking money from pharmaceutical companies, and not looking out for the regular folks.
"That stuff's personal to me. And when I say it's personal to me, I mean it. I lost two aunts to the opioid epidemic," said Hicks in his campaign ad.
When LEX 18 asked him about President Trump and the impeachment proceedings, Hicks says as a former officer and attorney, he wants to see all evidence come out. But he quickly turned back to issues at home.
"I was just out in Fleming County the other day, and I got asked 15 or 20 questions about things that affect their lives everyday. Things like their healthcare, the opioid epidemic, public education, issues they're having on Main Street. Businesses leaving. I got 10 seconds of somebody wanting to know about impeachment," said Hicks.
His potential opponent, Barr, released this statement on Tuesday:
"At a time when we need leadership that unites the country and brings people together, it’s sad to see hyper-partisan candidates like Josh Hicks aligning himself with the views of socialists like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who seek only to tear the country apart with the politics of envy, the divisive rhetoric of class warfare and the destructive desire to punish success. This brand of 'us vs. them' politics is precisely what has produced an obsession with impeachment in Washington, instead of a positive agenda that would actually make life better for all American families. That’s why Congressman Barr remains focused on doing the job he was elected to do - promoting pro-growth policies that have produced an American worker boom, the lowest unemployment in 50 years, the fastest wage growth in decades, declining poverty, growing prosperity and upward mobility."
Hicks responded to Barr's statement in an interview with LEX 18's Conroy Delouche saying, "That's in their playbook. Right? It must be the easiest thing in the world to be a Republican campaign consultant. Because you just pluck the same comments out of the box, and try to stick them to everybody. But they won't stick to me. I don't know anyone in Washington D.C. like that. Nobody recruited me to run this race. I didn't come here to align myself with a national party. I came here to run this race as a guy from Fleming County who scratched and clawed and made his way to some kind of success. And to be able to take all those experiences and make the national parties listen to me. Not just Republicans. Not just Democrats. Everybody's going to listen to my message because I'm hard to ignore."
Click here to watch the "Be Somebody" campaign ad.