LEXINGTON, Ky. — Republican Andy Barr conceded defeat to Democratic U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler on Friday, 10 days after voters cast their ballots in Central Kentucky's 6th Congressional District.
"I can find no substantial reason or compelling evidence that would justify a petition for a recount," Barr said during a news conference in Lexington at the Fayette County Republican Party headquarters.
Barr said he called Chandler shortly before making the announcement and congratulated the now five-term congressman on his narrow win.
A recanvass of the election results a few hours earlier tipped just one more vote into Republican Andy Barr's column and gave Chandler a 648-vote margin of victory.
"Some of my friends said that I am the Zenyatta of political candidates this year," Barr said, referring to the favored horse who lost last week's Breeders Cup race. "We came up short by a nose."
Chandler, who declared victory after last week's election, sounded ready Friday to move past the hard-fought campaign, promising to spend the next two years focusing on job growth to strengthen the economic recovery.
Barr would not answer questions about his political future, including whether he would challenge Chandler again in two years. The Lexington lawyer said he looks forward to returning to private practice. Barr, 36, also announced that he and his wife Carol were expecting a daughter in April.
Secretary of State Trey Grayson said the recanvass, a re-tabulation of totals from each voting machine that was completed at the request of Barr, gave Barr one additional vote in Lincoln County. The final count showed Chandler with 119,812 votes and Barr with 119,164 votes.
Barr said he has no regrets about the race. Chandler, a longtime Kentucky politician and former state attorney general, ran an effective race, Barr said.
"We made this one of the most competitive congressional races in the nation against one of the most well-known names in Kentucky politics," Barr said.
At a news conference on Friday, Chandler, 51, again thanked his supporters and pledged to do more to stimulate the economy and create jobs.
Read the full story at Kentucky.com