LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Incumbent Congressman Andy Barr won his fifth term in Kentucky's 6th District Tuesday night, notably without his biggest supporter by his side.
Barr's wife Carol passed away suddenly in June due to a previously diagnosed heart disease, mitral valve prolapse. She was 39.
During the campaigning months that followed her death, Barr faced ads and debate questions from opponent Josh Hicks surrounding pre-existing conditions that made him address what happened to his wife.
Tuesday night after his victory was confirmed, Barr addressed his family's loss.
"This has been a tough night in some ways even though we won because this is the first time that we've gone to our campaign and election without her, and we miss her dearly. We also very grateful for her legacy," he said.
Following the results Tuesday, Barr also said he is dedicating the win to Carol.
"I am reminded of her and her sacrifice that allowed me to do this public service every time I get a chance to be with my girls who are with me tonight," he said. "I do want to dedicate tonight's victory to her because I would never have been able to win any of these campaigns, including this one. I would have never been able to serve in the Congress the way I have without her over these last eight years."
He then explained heart disease will be high on his priority list.
"I want to learn more about mitral valve prolapse. It's a very rare case, like my wife's case that a person dies because of this, but we clearly need more research," Barr said. "I want to work with the National Institutes of Health, and the American Heart Association. I have already initiated those preliminary discussions and I want to really dig into this so we can help other families that confront this very rare but potentially life-threatening condition. And if we can make a difference in someone else's family, it will be worth it."
Barr also noted his short list of action items when he returns to Washington.
"Prioritizing defeating this virus with a safe and effective vaccine. And then ultimately, providing additional support for our economy, making those middle-class tax cuts permanent," he said. "And I, on the Financial Services Committee, I want to promote my legislation that would bring more financial services and access to capital to rural and underserved neighborhoods and communities. I think that's also very important to our economic recovery."