Democrats have not controlled the 4th District Congressional seat since conservative Blue-Dog Democrat Ken Lucas retired in 2004, but this year they’re putting up what some in the party see as a top-tier challenger to embattled Republican Congressman Thomas Massie.
In the May GOP primary, Massie, who has courted controversy will face multiple Republican challengers to the seat including Claire Wirth, from Oldham Co., who is running to the right of Massie tying herself to President Trump, and garnering attention with gun giveaways to donors. Also challenging for the seat is Republican Alyssa McDowell, who rushed the stage at the GOP gubernatorial watch party on Election Day in 2019 to call the race for Gov. Matt Bevin.
On the Democratic side, tech and pharmaceutical entrepreneur Matthew Lehman has filed for the seat. Lehman is the CEO of Koligo Therapeutics, according to his LinkedIn profile. Koligo is a startup working to expand access to pancreatic islet transplants, reduce or eliminate opioid dependence and improve quality of life for chronic pancreatitis. They are working to develop the next generation of modified cell transplant technologies.
Lehman has a Master of Science from Columbia University in New York, and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Louisville, Kentucky. He has grown and exited two other startup companies in the health technology space.
If Massie, 51, an MIT graduate who also exited a startup, and Lehman face each other in the General Election in November the race could be interesting to watch as the two with similar backgrounds but likely incredibly different world views compete to represent the greater Cincinnati area of Northern Kentucky.