Ben Chandler

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Ben Chandler
Ben Chandler.jpg
U.S. House, Kentucky, District 6
Retired Representative
In office
February 17, 2004-January 3, 2013
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First electedFebruary 17, 2004
Next generalNovember 6, 2012
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Kentucky Attorney General
Kentucky State Auditor
High schoolWoodford County High School
Bachelor'sUniversity of Kentucky
J.D.University of Kentucky
Military service
Service/branchUnited States Army Reserve
Years of service1967-1973
Date of birthSeptember 12, 1959
Place of birthVersailles, Kentucky
Office website
Campaign website
Ben Chandler campaign logo
The information about this individual is current as of when his or her last campaign ended. See anything that needs updating? Send a correction to our editors
Albert Benjamin "Ben" Chandler III (b. September 12, 1959) is a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives representing Kentucky's 6th Congressional District. Chandler was first elected to the House in 2004 in a special election to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Ernie Fletcher. Chandler was defeated in his bid for re-election in 2012 by challenger Andy Barr (R).[1]

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Chandler is a "centrist Democratic follower."[2]


Chandler was born in 1959 in Versailles, KY, where he also attended high school. He earned both his B.A. and J.D. from the University of Kentucky.[3]


Below is an abbreviated outline of Chandler's political career[3]:

Prior to his political career, Chandler worked as an attorney in private practice.

Committee assignments

U.S. House of Representatives


Chandler served on the following House committees:[4]


Specific votes

Chandler supported the auto bailout.[5] As of September 13, 2010: 56% of Americans disapproved of the auto bailout, while 43% supported it.[6]

In addition, Chandler voted for the stimulus bill.[7] 57% of U.S. voters believe that the stimulus has either hurt the economy (36%) or had no impact (21%). 38% believe the stimulus helped the economy.[8]

Chandler also voted in favor of the "Cash for Clunkers" bill.[9] According to a June 2009 Rasmussen Reports poll, 54% of likely U.S. voters opposed Cash for Clunkers, while 35% supported it.[10]

Finally, Chandler supported the "Cap and Trade" bill.[11] Just after the bill’s passage, 42% of likely U.S. voters said that cap and trade would hurt the economy, while 19% believed it would help. 15% said that the bill would have no impact.[12]

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "Yes" Chandler voted for the fiscal cliff compromise bill, which made permanent most of the Bush tax cuts originally passed in 2001 and 2003 while also raising tax rates on the highest income levels. He was one of 172 Democrats who voted in favor of the bill. The bill was passed in the House by a 257 - 167 vote on January 1, 2013.[13]



See also: Kentucky's 6th Congressional District elections, 2012

Chandler was defeated by Republican Andy Barr.[14] Chandler ran in the 2012 election for the U.S. House to represent Kentucky's 6th District. Chandler won the nomination on the Democratic ticket. He ran unopposed in the Democratic primary. He lost to Andy Barr (R) in the general election.

Candidates wishing to run were initially required to file by the signature filing deadline of January 31, 2012. However because the legislature was unable to complete new redistricting maps on time, the deadline was pushed back one week.[15] The new deadline was February 7.[16] The primary elections took place on May 22, 2012.

U.S. House, Kentucky District 6 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngAndy Barr 50.6% 153,222
     Democratic Ben Chandler Incumbent 46.7% 141,438
     Independent Randolph Vance 2.8% 8,340
Total Votes 303,000
Source: Kentucky Board of Elections "2012 General Election Official Vote Totals"


Chandler obtained endorsements from the Herald-Leader[17] and the National Rifle Association.[18]


In the video below, Chandler discusses on the Intelligence Community on the U.S. House floor.

Ben Chandler, "Rep. Chandler on Intelligence Community"[19]

Campaign issues

  • Arts and Humanities

Excerpt: "I strongly support the mission of public television and radio programs. As the power of private broadcasting corporations continues to grow, I believe that Congress must work to ensure that Americans have access to independent public media outlets free from political and corporate influence."[20]

  • Economy Jobs and Small Business

Excerpt: "As the economy continues to slowly recover from the recession, Congress should make every effort to ensure that the federal government is not impeding the recovery in any way."[21]

  • Education

Excerpt: "One of my top priorities is to enact legislation that will improve the No Child Left Behind Act. This law was enacted in 2001 to strengthen academic programs for elementary and secondary schools, yet federal funding shortages have left many school districts in Kentucky and throughout the United States struggling to meet the law's requirements."[22]

  • Foreign Policy

Excerpt: "While we have substantially drawn down forces in Iraq, the security environment in Afghanistan requires enhanced steps. With the successful mission of our Navy SEALS in the killing of Osama bin Laden, I believe that we must reevaluate our mission in Afghanistan and work to bring our troops home."[23]

  • Healthcare

Excerpt: "In 2010, when the House of Representatives considered the Patient Protection and Affordable Healthcare Act, I voted against the bill because I believed that the legislation did not fully address the needs of the people of the Sixth District of Kentucky."[24]

  • Immigration

Excerpt: "Not only do I think we need to fix the dangerous loopholes in our immigration system, but I am also opposed to giving blanket amnesty to all undocumented immigrants inside our borders."[25]


Public Opinion Strategies, June 24-26 2012[26]
Poll Ben Chandler Andy BarrMargin of ErrorSample Size
Kentucky's 6th Congressional District
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to


On November 2, 2010, Ben Chandler won re-election to the United States House. He defeated Garland "Andy" Barr, (R), C. Wes Collins (Write-In) and Randolph S. Vance (Write-In) in the general election.[27]

U.S. House, Kentucky District 6 General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngBen Chandler incumbent 50.1% 119,812
     Republican Garland "Andy" Barr 49.8% 119,164
     Write-in C. Wes Collins 0.1% 225
     Write-in Randolph S. Vance 0% 22
Total Votes 239,223

Campaign donors


Breakdown of the source of Chandler's campaign funds before the 2012 election.

Chandler lost election to the U.S. House in 2012. During that election cycle, Chandler's campaign committee raised a total of $2,403,029 and spent $2,533,044.[28]

As of July 10, 2012 Chandler's campaign raised $398,000 in the second quarter and had $1.3 million dollars cash-on-hand.[29]

On October 15, 2012, quarterly reports were submitted by campaigns to the Federal Election Commission. The political blog Daily Kos did an analysis of the fundraising figures and found Republican challenger Andy Barr outraised Democratic incumbent Ben Chandler in the third quarter. Barr raised $804,000 to Chandler's $504,000.[30]


Breakdown of the source of Chandler's campaign funds before the 2010 election.

Chandler won re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010. During that re-election cycle, Chandler's campaign committee raised a total of $1,674,100 and spent $2,665,906.[31]


Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Chandler paid his congressional staff a total of $1,107,599 in 2011. He ranked 144th on the list of the lowest paid Democratic representative staff salaries and ranked 58th overall of the highest paid representative staff salaries in 2011. Overall, Kentucky ranked 10th in average salary for representative staff. The average U.S. House of Representatives congressional staff was paid $954,912.20 in fiscal year 2011.[32]

Net worth

See also: Changes in Net Worth of U.S. Senators and Representatives (Personal Gain Index) and Net worth of United States Senators and Representatives

Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by, Chandler's net worth as of 2010 was estimated between $377,013 and $931,000. That averages to $654,006.50, which was lower than the average net worth of Democratic representatives in 2010 of $4,465,875.[33]

National Journal vote ratings


See also: National Journal vote ratings

Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year. Chandler ranked 181st in the liberal rankings.[34]

Voting with party

November 2011

Ben Chandler voted with the Democratic Party 72.7% of the time, which ranked 182 among the 192 House Democratic members as of November 2011.[35]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Ben + Chandler + Kentucky + House

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Ben Chandler News Feed

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Chandler lives in Woodford County, Kentucky, with his wife, Jennifer. The couple has three children.[36]

External links


  1. Lexington Herald-Leader, "Andy Barr ousts Ben Chandler in Kentucky's 6th Congressional District," November 6, 2012
  2. GovTrack, "Ben Chandler" accessed April 16, 2012
  3. 3.0 3.1 Biographical Guide to Members of Congress, "Ben Chandler" accessed November 15, 2011
  4. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "House of Representatives Committee Assignments" accessed November 15, 2011
  5. US House Clerk, "Roll Call 690" December 10, 2008
  6. Gallup, "Among Recent Bills, Financial Reform a Lone Plus for Congress," September 13, 2010
  7. US House Clerk, "Roll Call 46," January 28, 2009
  8. Rasmussen, "38% Say Stimulus Plan Helped Economy, 36% Say It Hurt," August 24, 2010
  9. US House Clerk, "Roll Call 314," June 9, 2009
  10. Rasmussen, "54% Oppose “Cash for Clunkers” Plan To Spur Purchase of Greener Cars," June 23, 2009
  11. US House Clerk, "Roll Call 477," June 26, 2009
  12. Rasmussen, "42% Say Climate Change Bill Will Hurt The Economy," June 30, 2009
  13. U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff," accessed January 4, 2013
  14. Politico, "2012 Election Map, Kentucky"
  15. Courier Press, "Judge to rule by Tuesday on Kentucky legislative filing deadline," January 30, 2012
  16., "Lawmakers move to postpone congressional deadline," January 27, 2012
  17. Ben Chandler for Congress, "Herald-Leader Endorses Ben Chandler" accessed April 13, 2012
  18. Ben Chandler for Congress, "NRA Endorses Ben Chandler" accessed April 13, 2012
  19. YouTube channel
  20. Ben Chandler, "Issues," accessed October 12, 2012
  21. Ben Chandler, "Issues," accessed October 12, 2012
  22. Ben Chandler, "Issues," accessed October 12, 2012
  23. Ben Chandler, "Issues," accessed October 12, 2012
  24. Ben Chandler, "Issues," accessed October 12, 2012
  25. Ben Chandler, "Issues," accessed October 12, 2012
  26. My Channel 2 "Barr down by five points to Chandler in new internal poll" accessed July 11, 2012
  27. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013
  28. OpenSecrets, "2012 Election" accessed March 23, 2013
  29. My Channel 2 "Barr campaign breaks 1 Million raised; rakes in almost $400k in 2nd quarter keeping pace with Chandler campaign" accessed July 11, 2012
  30. Daily Kos, "Third quarter House fundraising: who's got the cash?" October 18, 2012
  31. Open Secrets, "Ben Chandler 2010 Re-Election Cycle," accessed November 15, 2011
  32. LegiStorm, "Ben Chandler"
  33. OpenSecrets, "Chandler, (D-Kentucky), 2010"
  34. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," accessed February 23, 2012
  35. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  36. Official House Site, "Biography," accessed November 15, 2011
Political offices
Preceded by
Ernie Fletcher
U.S. House of Representatives - Kentucky, District 6
Succeeded by
Andy Barr (R)
Preceded by
Kentucky Attorney General
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Kentucky State Auditor
Succeeded by