LOUISVILLE (WHAS11) -- Lexington Mayor Jim Gray announced he is running to challenge Rep. Andy Barr in Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District.

Gray has served nearly two terms as Mayor of Lexington.

Before entering public life, Gray served as President and CEO of Gray Construction. It is a family business.

“I’m running for Congress because too many people are working harder but not getting ahead. From growing up in a middle-class family to building a successful business, I’ve been lucky enough to live the American Dream. But today, the American Dream is threatened, it’s in trouble,” said Jim Gray. “Healthcare costs are rising. The price of a good education is as high as ever. Wages aren’t growing fast enough to keep up. And Washington is too broken to solve these problems because of partisan politicians like Andy Barr who vote the way their party tells them, not the way that’s best for Kentucky.”

Gray concluded, “We need more leaders in Congress who are willing to bring people together to solve problems and protect the American Dream for all hardworking Kentuckians. That’s what I’ve done as Mayor, and that’s what I’ll do in Congress.”

Starting Tuesday morning in Berea, Ky., Mayor Jim Gray will spend this week visiting all nineteen counties in the Sixth District to hear voters’ concerns about their representation in Washington and their suggestions for how to solve the challenges they are facing.

The Republican Party of Kentucky Communications Director Tres Watson released this statement:

“If Jim Gray spent half the time doing his job as Mayor that he’s spent thinking about what office he can run for next Lexington would be in much better shape. Instead, it’s seen a rapid rise in murder rates and has been needlessly divided over social issues. Jim Gray’s track record as Mayor is one of big promises left unfulfilled because he’s too focused on climbing the political ladder.”