NewsCovering Kentucky


Hicks, Barr lock horns over campaign donations

Posted at 12:11 AM, Oct 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-24 09:46:03-04

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — With 11 days left until Election Day, congressional candidates Rep. Andy Barr (R) and Marine veteran Josh Hicks (D) continue to trade barbs on the campaign trail.

At a campaign stop in Frankfort Friday, Hicks was joined by Rocky Adkins, former Democratic House Minority Leader and current senior advisor to Gov. Andy Beshear.

"Folks, we need common sense for this great Commonwealth," Adkins told a small socially distanced crowd. "We need common sense for America and especially Washington, D.C."

Running as a Washington outsider, Hicks has painted Barr as a politician who is out of touch with Kentuckians.

Earlier this week, his campaign ramped up attacks accusing Barr of being in the pocket of pharmaceutical companies.

After news emerged that Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, would plead guilty to criminal charges as part of a $8 billion settlement, Hicks called for Barr to return donations the congressman has received from the drug company.

Barr told another news station that Hicks' statement was "ridiculous."

"I saw this as an opportunity," Hicks told LEX 18. "[Returning the money] is a relatively small gesture that he could make to show that he isn't bought. And unfortunately he couldn't even go that far."

When asked about his opponent's attack, Barr described it as "campaign gimmicks."

"If my opponent would like to return the hundreds of thousands of campaign contributions that he has received from liberals in Washington, D.C. and out-of-state trial lawyers, then we can talk about campaign donations," Barr said.

Barr spoke to LEX 18 in Owingsville, after an event held to announce a public safety grant for the city.

"We're making a difference," Barr said, pointing to his work in Congress to secure federal dollars to combat the opioid epidemic. "We're getting the job done. We don't respond to campaign gimmicks. We just get the job done and help people through sustained long-term addiction recovery."

Back at the campaign event in Frankfort, Hicks swatted away Barr's claims about receiving money from "liberals in Washington, D.C. and out-of-state trial lawyers."

"First and foremost, I don't know what he's talking about when he says that," Hicks said. "I can trace the money he took from a criminal enterprise. It has Purdue Pharma's name on it."