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Kentucky Congressman Yarmuth Will Seek Re-Election

Yarmuth, center, announced Monday he will seek to retain his Kentucky House seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., announced Monday he will seek a sixth term in Congress, ending speculation that he would not run for re-election.

“I decided to run again because as the lone progressive voice on federal issues in Kentucky, particularly within the federal delegation, I think I have a responsibility to battle for the values that I think this community shares and I certainly champion, and those are things that help the average working family get additional opportunity and get ahead,” Yarmuth told Kentucky media outlet cjn2's Pure Politics at his campaign headquarters in Louisville.

The lone Democrat in Kentucky's congressional delegation, Yarmuth had hinted he was considering retiring in an interview with Louisville TV station WHAS11 in December saying, "I think this next term is going to be very frustrating. So, we'll see how that looks midway through that term whether it looks like things are going to get better or worse."

"If they're going to get worse, then I don't think it's something you want to be a part of," he said.

Yarmuth is a vocal progressive in a heavily Democratic district which includes Louisville that President Barack Obama carried by double-digit margins in 2012 and 2008.

A Republican-turned-Democrat, Yarmuth came from nowhere to defeat GOP incumbent Rep. Anne Northup in the 2006 Democratic wave. He has not faced a competitive re-election since.

As the second-ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee, part of Yarmuth's motivation to run again may have come from the fact that current ranking member Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., plans to seek election to the Senate, which could put Yarmuth in line to succeed him.

Kentucky's 3rd District is currently rated Safe Democrat by the Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report /Roll Call.  

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