U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler said one of the key differences between him and challenger Andy Barr is a desire to put people to work and help companies stay open.
Chandler cited a February 2011 Recovery Act loan to Nicholasvile’s McKechnie Vehicle Components as an example of that commitment. Chandler said prior to the loan, the company was in danger of shutting its doors.
“McKechnie, as I understand it, is the second-largest private employer in Jessamine County, (and) they have now increased their employment to more than 400 people,” Chandler said. “The reason McKechnie is still going strong is because of the guaranteed loan they got as a result of the recovery act.
“Mr. Barr opposed that, and if he had his way, McKechnie’s doors would be shut today. It’s a guaranteed loan that didn’t cost the government anything, and I think they’re going to be able to pay it back with ease, and the government may even make money on this deal, and to boot, you’ve got a whole lot of Jessamine County families that have benefited because of it.”
Job creation is the number-one issue in the 6th District, Chandler said.
“We are about the business of trying to employ people, and we’ve had a number of successes,” Chandler said. “We employ some 70,000 people across Kentucky in the automotive industry. There’s not a county hardly in the district that doesn’t have an automotive plant of some sort, supplier plant or otherwise. And there’s been companies like McKechnie that have benefited from the recovery act.”
Chandler and Barr have been involved in a heated and testy campaign for the 6th District seat, and Chandler said the negative ads have taken much of the focus off the issues.
“They have blurred some of the issues,” he said. “That’s why we’ve got a nice, positive ad talking about my independence. What I think people in this district want is somebody who can get things done and will be independent.”
Chandler said he is not afraid of rocking the boat.
“My record is very strong on that,” he said. “I have supported (President Barack Obama) on some issues, and I have opposed him on some issues; I have a very strong independent record in Congress.”
Chandler said sound infrastructure, such as the I-75 connector, is key to moving forward.
“We need infrastructure in this country,” he said. “It will put people to work with jobs that cannot be exported, and the road bill was held up by the extreme part of the Tea Party in Congress, so we got an insufficient road bill.”
Chandler was first elected to represent Kentucky's 6th District in February 2004. Chandler has received endorsements from The Lexington Herald-Leader, United Mine Workers of America, Kentucky State Fraternal Order of Police, National Rifle Association, the Louisville Courier-Journal, and the Alliance for Retired Americans.
For more information on Chandler, visit benchandlerforcongress.com.