Monday, July 19, 2004

Does he vote in his PJs?


Ky.'s Chandler sleeps in office, says it helps

The Associated Press

FRANKFORT - When Congressman Ben Chandler receives overnight visitors in Washington, D.C., he doesn't have a place to put them up.

That's because the Versailles Democrat, who won a February special election for the 6th District seat, sleeps in his office.

Chandler told The State Journal there is "a little area, almost like a closet, that I have a mattress in."

He said the temporary arrangement allows him to get to work at 5:30 a.m. in the Longworth Building.

"It cuts down tremendously on the commute time," said Chandler, who doesn't keep a car in Washington. "It's much more convenient, frankly."

Chandler estimates that about 40 colleagues in Congress sleep in their offices.

A spokeswoman for Gov. Ernie Fletcher, who vacated the seat after beating Chandler in the governor's race, said he didn't go that route.

"He had a condo," Jeannie Lausche said.

To retain the seat, Chandler must defeat Republican state Sen. Tom Buford of Nicholasville in the November election.

Chandler, who serves on the Agriculture, International Relations and Homeland Security committees, said the most difficult part of his job so far has been "the travel and the logistics thing."

His average week allows him to spend Friday through Monday in Kentucky. But recently, his 9-year-old son spent a week with his father and slept on the office floor.

"Some interns took him around to see some of the sights around Washington when I was working, and he did a lot of reading in the office," Chandler said. "He's very good at entertaining himself."




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