2019 election

J. Tyler Franklin

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin is running for re-election this year. He’s got three primary challengers and low approval ratings after a series of gaffes and insults towards public school teachers. But he also has widespread name recognition and economic development successes to hang his hat on.

When he took office in late 2015, Bevin became only the third Republican governor of Kentucky since World War II. The election represented a sea change in Kentucky politics, which had been dominated by Democrats for much of state history.

J. Tyler Franklin

Attorney General Andy Beshear says he’s the Democrat who can beat Gov. Matt Bevin on Election Day in November because he’s beaten him in the court room.

Beshear has sued Bevin several times since they took office after the 2015 elections — most famously, he challenged the pension bill Bevin signed into law last year. The Kentucky Supreme Court ended up striking the measure down, saying the Republican-led legislature had violated the state constitution by rushing it into law.

J. Tyler Franklin

Adam Edelen is doing something most Democrats running for statewide office in Kentucky have avoided: running as a progressive. He wants Kentucky to invest in renewable energy, decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana and he supports abortion rights.

Edelen is one of four Democrats running for governor this year. He’s a businessman from Lexington and previously served as state auditor, before he lost reelection in 2015.

After that, Edelen established Edelen Strategic Ventures, a consulting firm where he has helped develop a solar power project in Pike County on top of a former coal mine.

J. Tyler Franklin

Rocky Adkins is one of four Democrats running for Kentucky governor this year. He has served in the state legislature since 1987 and was the powerful majority floor leader in the Kentucky House of Representatives until Republicans won control of the chamber two years ago.

Hailing from rural eastern Kentucky, Adkins has worked in the coal industry and is currently the president of RJA Enterprises, a company that does “project development” for companies in the energy and transportation fields.

Grimes Contests Law Removing Her Power Over Elections Board

May 7, 2019
J. Tyler Franklin

Kentucky's secretary of state has challenged a new state law removing her power over the State Board of Elections, claiming the action by Republican lawmakers amounts to an unconstitutional infringement of her executive authority.

The lawsuit by Alison Lundergan Grimes, one of the state's most prominent Democrats, warns "confusion and uncertainty" will surround Kentucky's May 21 primary election unless the law is invalidated.

Grimes filed the lawsuit Monday in Franklin County Circuit Court. It seeks an injunction blocking the law's implementation and a ruling that it violates Kentucky's Constitution.

Ryland Barton

Gov. Matt Bevin made his reelection pitch to a group of Louisville business leaders on Thursday, saying that the other candidates vying for his job are making “grandiose claims and promises.”

“They’re going to get wages up, they’re going to bring jobs of the future and these things sound great, but what do they even mean?” Bevin said.

There are three Republican challengers and four Democrats vying to replace Bevin in November. Democrats held their first of four televised debates on Wednesday.


Kentucky’s Democratic candidates for governor participated in the first televised debate of the campaign season Wednesday night. They argued over issues like abortion, how to generate more revenue for the state and who has the best chance to beat incumbent Gov. Matt Bevin.

Attorney General Andy Beshear, the son of former Gov. Steve Beshear, is trying to maintain his front-runner status in the race while former auditor Adam Edelen and longtime state Rep. Rocky Adkins search for a path to victory.

Ryland Barton

With about a month to go before Kentucky’s primary elections, all three major Democratic candidates for governor appeared together on stage for the first time on Thursday.

During a forum held by Louisville’s Rotary Club, candidates differed only slightly in their stances on a wide range of issues including preserving Kentucky’s Medicaid expansion, shoring up public education and allowing casino gambling to generate revenue for the state’s ailing pension systems.

Jacob Ryan

Democrat Adam Edelen said that if he is elected governor of Kentucky, he’ll push to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana.

Edelen said Kentucky’s marijuana laws have put strains on families and taxpayers and are disproportionately used against minorities.

In a news conference Monday, Edelen called for eliminating criminal penalties for possessing less than a half-ounce of marijuana.

Ryland Barton

There was no need for Democrat Adam Edelen to share the spotlight at the Black Votes Matter forum in Louisville Thursday because none of the other major candidates for governor showed up.

The event was hosted by Simmons College, a historically black college, and questions focused on how to promote wealth and resources in black communities, reform the criminal justice system and improve public education.

Political Feud Complicating Kentucky's Fight Against Opioids

Mar 6, 2019
J. Tyler Franklin

For every 100,000 people in Kentucky, 23 are killed by opioid overdoses — nearly double the national rate. But a political feud is complicating the state's effort to hold drug companies accountable for their part in the epidemic.

Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear and Republican Gov. Matt Bevin are fighting over Beshear's attempt to hire private attorneys to battle the drug companies. Beshear is running for governor, and Bevin is the man he could face in the general election.

Ryland Barton

Kentucky’s Democratic candidates for governor mingled with educators who descended on Frankfort Thursday to oppose a bill that would make changes to the board that oversees the teacher pension system.

The state’s two largest school districts and a handful of others closed on Thursday after a large percentage of teachers called in sick.

Attorney General Andy Beshear, Rep. Rocky Adkins and former state auditor Adam Edelen — three of the four Democrats running for Kentucky governor — all mingled with the hundreds of educators and other supporters in Frankfort Thursday morning.


Gov. Matt Bevin spent much of his fourth State of the Commonwealth Address praising the Republican-led legislature for passing measures like so-called “right-to-work” legislation, anti-abortion policies and attempting to make changes to state worker pension benefits.

The appreciative tone comes a little more than a month after Bevin chided the General Assembly — which has more than three-fifths majority in each chamber — for quickly ending a specially-called legislative session without passing an overhaul of the pension systems.

J. Tyler Franklin

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear issued an opinion Thursday that said an emergency regulation put in place by Governor Matt Bevin’s administration earlier this year violates the law.

The regulation restricted access to all state-owned facilities and grounds, including the state capitol building in Frankfort.  One provision in the regulation said that any group wanting to protest at the capitol would have to make such a request at least ten days in advance.

Ryland Barton

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear is laying out his priorities for the current legislative session. They include creating a fund for opioid lawsuit settlements to fight substance abuse, mandatory human trafficking education for truck drivers, allowing the Office of the Attorney General to petition the Supreme Court for multi-county grand juries and creating audits for utility companies before rate hikes are approved.

Beshear’s priorities come as he runs for Governor Matt Bevin’s seat in a Democratic primary that includes three other candidates. Here’s a rundown of the measures he announced Wednesday: