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In Kentucky, Andy Barr Challenger Won't Shy Away From Obama Policies

Kemper, a Lexington preacher, filed her candidacy for Congress against Barr on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

When Democrat Matt Jones, a popular Kentucky sports radio host, announced he would not challenge Republican Rep. Andy Barr for re-election, fears rose within the Democratic Party's ranks that it might just forget about making a run for the district it held as recently as 2012.  

But on Thursday, only five days before the filing deadline there, Kentucky Democrats have finally found a candidate. Nancy Jo Kemper, a 65-year-old United Church of Christ minister from Lexington, said she will trade one pulpit for another — a political one — to take on the second-term lawmaker this year. “It started as a wild idea,” she said, but as she thought about it more, she concluded that, in this year that has brought success to other political outsiders, voters might just give a non-politician like her a chance. “I’m rooted with a lot of passion and a lot of energy. I didn’t see anybody stand up, so I said, 'Why not?'”  

Democrats Might 'Roll the Dice’ Hoping Trump or Cruz is on Ballot

Democrats think a Trump or Cruz nomination could help them turn Kentucky Rep. Andy Barr's seat blue again. But time is running out. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrats are optimistic that a Donald Trump or Texas Sen. Ted Cruz nomination will expand the map in their favor. But because of how long the GOP nominating contest could take, and how early some congressional filing deadlines are, Democrats may need to take a leap of faith on candidates before they know whether the GOP nominee will put certain states in play.  

"I’m telling potential candidates, 'There’s a chance that our party is going to win the lottery. ... It might be worth rolling the dice because it turns out the Democratic nominee in some of these states that are not competitive right now may be worth a lot,'" one Democratic consultant said.  

Kentucky Sports Radio Host Decides Against a Campaign for Congress

In Kentucky sports radio host Matt Jones, D.C. Democrats thought they had a dream candidate to challenge Rep. Andy Barr. (AP File Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

In Kentucky Sports Radio Host Matt Jones, Democrats in Washington thought they might have found it all in a possible candidate to run in Kentucky's 6th District: A moderate who was not ashamed to admit he voted for President Barack Obama; a well-educated lawyer who knows how to speak to the district's working-class voters; and a man who has spent years building his name identification by hosting one of the top sports talk shows in a state that loves its sports.  

But on Monday, it turned out their notion of a Jones candidacy was too good to be true. After months of courting by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Jones announced he would not challenge Republican Rep. Andy Barr. "The decision is more personal than it is political," he wrote in a post on his website. "While I think now more than ever, a person who is willing to put aside political affiliations in order to actually work for the common good is needed, it just isn’t the right time in my life to do it."  

Sports Radio Host Considers Trading One Talk Show for Another

Jones, who hosts Kentucky Sports Radio, is inching closer to a decision on a run for Congress. (AP File Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

When Matt Jones, the host of the popular sports talk show "Kentucky Sports Radio" landed in Washington, D.C., last week, it was his second trip to the capital since he began eyeing a run as a Democrat in the Bluegrass State's 6th District against Republican Rep. Andy Barr.  

Jones, well known back home after spending 10 hours on the radio each week for the past five years talking about all the things University of Kentucky athletics, was in town a few months ago to hear a pitch from congressional Democrats about “why it might make sense to consider a run" for office.  

Popular Kentucky Sports Radio Host Considering Challenging Andy Barr

A popular Kentucky sports radio host is considering whether he can turn Barr's seat blue again. (File Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Matt Jones, a Kentucky sports radio host whose political blood runs as blue as Rupp Arena on game day, said this week he is considering a run for Congress in the state’s bright red 6th District against Republican incumbent Andy Barr.  

Jones said on his radio show Monday that he had met with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee  for “a couple of days” in June in Washington and that he was seriously considering their pitch.  

DCCC Promotes Nine Candidates to 'Red to Blue' Program for 2014

The DCCC Chairman is Israel. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced Friday its latest round of candidates in "Red to Blue," a program that targets open-seat races and districts held by Republicans.  

House Democrats must pick up 17 seats to win control of that chamber — a daunting task in a midterm election. Offensive opportunities, like those in the Red to Blue program, are vital to the party's mission. The DCCC released its first round  of 35 Red to Blue candidates earlier this year.  

EMILY's List Puts 6 House Candidates 'On the List'

EMILY's List announced their preliminary support for six new female House candidates from across the country on Monday.

The organization, which supports female Democratic candidates who back abortion rights, stopped short of giving the contenders their full endorsements.

Race Rating Changes: The Final Push

Supporters of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney listen Sunday during a rally in Des Moines, Iowa. With two days before Election Day, Romney is campaigning in swing states across the country. (Emmanuel Dunando/AFP/Getty Images)

Heading into the final weekend of barnstorming before Election Day, there was a noticeable shift toward the GOP in many key House races while Democrats seem to be getting more good news than bad about the Senate map.

First, the Senate math:

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Here is what cut through the clutter today:

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