Kentucky politics

Ryland Barton

Lawmakers say they want to do more to prevent child abuse in Kentucky after years of troubling reports ranking the state as one of the worst for child mistreatment.

The legislature’s Oversight and Investigations Committee met Thursday to discuss findings and recommendations from the state’s Child Fatality and Near Fatality External Review Panel, which, as it does annually, released another report this year detailing substance abuse and mental health issues as leading drivers of child abuse in the state.

Melissa Currie, a doctor at Norton Children’s Hospital and a member of the panel, said since the panel’s inception 10 years ago, the state hasn’t seen a drop in abuse cases.

“No, absolutely not, we’re not seeing a huge drop in the numbers. And we’re seeing worse and worse cases,” Currie said.

Lisa Gillespie

So far two Democrats are running for Kentucky’s 3rd Congressional District seat with long-time Rep. John Yarmuth announcing he won’t run for reelection next year.

State Rep. Attica Scott and state Sen. Morgan McGarvey are the only ones officially vying for the seat at this point, but Yarmuth’s retirement announcement could open the floodgates for more candidates to get into the race.

Scott was first. When she launched her campaign in July, it was a long shot primary challenge against Yarmuth, a well-known 16-year incumbent and powerful chair of the U.S. House Budget Committee.

After Yarmuth announced he wouldn’t run again Tuesday, Scott congratulated him on his retirement and said she was honored by people who supported her campaign early.

J. Tyler Franklin

Kentucky Gov.-elect Andy Beshear’s transition team will help craft his administration, and he’s stacked it with well-connected bureaucrats, legislators and longtime supporters of the Beshear family’s political campaigns.

Transition team members donated at least $358,000 to Beshear since his run for attorney general in 2015, according to state campaign finance records. About 80 percent of the 163 team members have donated to Beshear, either in this race against incumbent Gov. Matt Bevin or his 2015 campaign. At least 16 currently work for Andy Beshear as employees of the Office of the Attorney General.

Lieutenant Governor Jerry Abramson's assertion that the Fancy Farm picnic is no longer a relevant political event has inspired a growing backlash.

Many political pundits are ready to crown U.S. Senator Rand Paul as another Kentucky kingmaker following the Congressional primary victory of Thomas Massie. Paul endorsed tea party candidate Massie, who won the Fourth Congressional GOP primary yesterday. The endorsement was Paul’s first in his home state since becoming Kentucky’s junior senator in 2010.