Kentucky

andy beshear
Bryan Woolston / AP

In an election where Republicans won every down-ticket race, Democrat Andy Beshear appears to have narrowly beaten incumbent Republican Governor Matt Bevin to win the Kentucky governorship, with 100% of precincts reporting. As of Tuesday night, Beshear held 49.2% of the vote compared to 48.9% for Bevin, who said, "we are not conceding this race by any stretch."

Voters in four states head to the polls on Tuesday for general statewide elections of note. These off-year contests may not be as high profile as the 2020 presidential and congressional elections will be a year from now, but they could offer some important hints on how voters are feeling about President Trump, impeachment, guns and more.

On a recent, cloudy fall afternoon, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin stood outside the governor's mansion in Frankfort, flanked by a couple dozen activists in blue T-shirts, holding signs that read, "I Vote Pro-Life."

"It took me a while to figure out why I keep seeing these blue T-shirts," Bevin joked as he turned to the volunteers. "I wasn't sure who you were, but I'm just grateful to you."

These activists have been door-knocking across Kentucky on Bevin's behalf, to reach 200,000 voters before the election on Nov. 5.

Why These 5 States Hold Odd-Year Elections, Bucking The Trend

Nov 4, 2019

If you follow politics, you're probably inundated by news of the 2020 presidential race by now. But did you know that 2019 is an election year too? This month, five states will hold big general elections.

Voters in Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey and Virginia will elect either a whole slew of state lawmakers or a governor and other statewide executives. Or, in the case of Louisiana and Mississippi, all of the above.

2019 election
Jim Nolan / WVXU

On Tuesday, Nov. 5, residents of Kentucky vote on a variety of statewide races. Here's what you need to know before heading to the polls.

kentucky voting
Bryan Woolston / AP

Listen to Cincinnati Edition live at noon M-F. Audio for this segment will be uploaded after 4 p.m. ET.

Jasper Davis stoops to tilt a plastic bottle under a drip of water that's trickling from a crack in the mountainside.

"Tastes better than what the city water does," he says. "Way better."

The spring is innocuous, a mere dribble emerging from a cliff face that was cut out to make room for a four-lane highway. But there's evidence of frequent visitors. A small footbridge has been placed over the muddy ground, and some enterprising soul shoved a rubber tube into the mountain to make filling jugs easier.

andy beshear matt bevin
Albert Cesare, The Cincinnati Enquirer / AP

Kentucky incumbent Republican Governor Matt Bevin and Democratic challenger Attorney General Andy Beshear don't agree on much. But at Tuesday night's debate at Northern Kentucky University, the rivals agreed that the proverbial can shouldn't be kicked down the road when it comes to fixing problems like the Brent Spence Bridge.

Gov. Matt Bevin and Attorney General Andy Beshear squared off in another gubernatorial debate Monday night, one of the last opportunities for voters to see the candidates make their cases before Election Day.

Bevin and Beshear bickered their way through the debate on KET, while moderator Renee Shaw repeatedly brought them back to substantive policy issues like how to raise more money for the state, how to address the state’s pension debt and whether to keep the state’s Medicaid expansion.

 


matt bevin andy beshear
AP

Listen to Cincinnati Edition live at noon M-F. Audio for this segment will be uploaded after 4 p.m. ET.

A new report says the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) improves health and reduces costs across Kentucky.

The report from the left-leaning Kentucky Center for Economic Policy shows more than 500,000 Kentuckians get help buying groceries through SNAP.

Kentucky has the eighth-highest rate of food insecurity in the nation. KCEP says a growing body of research connects food insecurity to a higher rate of diabetes, chronic illnesses, and other negative health outcomes. 


matt bevin andy beshear debate
Ryan C. Hermens / Lexington Herald-Leader via AP

One of the most closely watched races in the country is in Kentucky, where Gov. Matt Bevin is running for re-election against Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear.

matt bevin andy beshear debate
Ryan C. Hermens / Lexington Herald-Leader via AP

A new poll shows Gov. Matt Bevin and Attorney General Andy Beshear in a dead heat ahead of next month's gubernatorial election.

The same polling firm showed Bevin trailing Beshear by eight percentage points last December.

Eight minutes into the governor’s debate on Tuesday, moderator Shannon Cogan urged the audience at Lexington’s Singletary Center to remain silent. The candidates’ verbal jousts elicited whoops, boos, cheers and rare bits of laughter through the hour-long debate reflecting an audience as clearly divided on policy as the two men on stage.

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin and Democratic challenger Andy Beshear found little common ground during the debate on the University of Kentucky campus; that was evident on the hot-button issue of abortion.

kentucky commonwealth
J. Tyler Franklin / WFPL

Kentucky's candidates for attorney general squared off in their first televised debate Monday night, arguing over each other's experience and how the office should treat potentially unconstitutional laws passed by the legislature.

The American Printing House For the Blind, headquartered in Louisville, will soon house the world’s largest collection of Helen Keller artifacts.

Officials announced the acquisition Thursday. More than 80,000 individual pieces from the life of Keller, an iconic advocate for the deaf and blind, will now be housed at the printing house. Eventually many will be on exhibit; some of Keller’s artifacts, including an Oscar, a letter she wrote to Nazi students and a Zulu shield are already on display. APH CEO Craig Meador said the exhibit will underscore Louisville’s mission to highlight advocacy.

walton verona school kentucky
Courtesy of Walton-Verona Independent Schools

The Kentucky Department of Education released the results of its new accountability system for school districts last week, and for Northern Kentucky districts, the results were mixed.

Kentucky arts teachers are asking lawmakers to require that all public schools provide visual and performing arts classes.

State law currently only requires high schools to provide art classes — one credit — though many local school districts have arts requirements for elementary and middle schools.

A group of arts educators called the Kentucky Coalition for Arts Education is pushing for the bill, called the Arts Education Equity Act, ahead of next year’s legislative session. A similar version of the bill was proposed but never received a hearing this year.

 


defense of cincinnati
Courtesy of Cam Miller

Fort Wright and Fort Mitchell are now commonly known Northern Kentucky cities, but back when they were actual forts, their purpose could not have been of more importance for Cincinnati.

Michael Monks / The River City News

The Ludlow-Bromley Yacht Club appears to be a total loss after a barge drifted toward it and ultimately crashed into it early Wednesday morning.

Former House Speaker Jeff Hoover has announced he will not seek reelection next year. Hoover stepped down from his leadership position in early 2018 after revelations that he and three other Republican lawmakers signed a secret agreement with a former staffer settling sexual harassment allegations.

Hoover was the first Republican to preside over the House of Representatives in nearly a century when his party won control of the chamber in 2016.

 


kentucky symphony orchestra devou park
Courtesy of The River City News

For 28 years, the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra has brought classical music - and modern music with a classical twist - to Northern Kentucky.

  Kentucky’s chief election official on National Voter Registration Day wants to remind Kentuckians the voter registration deadline for this fall’s general election is two weeks away.

The Kentucky Department of Education is seeking feedback on the state’s new minimum high school graduation requirements. 

Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis will hold four town hall forums this month and next.  The first one is on Monday evening in Shelbyville at the Ohio Valley Education Cooperative. 


  A new report ranks Kentucky 9th in the nation for the rate at which counties hold residents in local jails. The state-by-state analysis aims to provide a more comprehensive picture of the effect local jails have.

newport kentucky
Al Behrman / AP

Climate change: It’s the T-rex chasing the jeep in Jurassic Park and the climate scientist is Jeff Goldblum yelling “must go faster.” It’s omnipresent and ineffable, it’s everywhere and touches everything. It’s a problem so complex that it’s easy to distract ourselves with the efficacy of plastic straw bans and recycling.

ce friday
Jim Nolan / WVXU

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin is under fire for use of a state-owned plane. The state’s two largest newspapers are calling for more transparency on the issue.

Kentucky is once again delaying its REAL ID drivers licensing program, a little more than a year before the high-security licenses, a passport, or other form of federal ID will be needed to board domestic airline flights.

The state Transportation Cabinet has abandoned its plan to issue the licenses through local circuit court clerks and now plans to set up regional centers around the state where drivers can apply for them.

The announcement comes after a series of delays implementing the enhanced licensing system that is mandated by a 2005 federal law that requires states to make identification systems more secure.


Former House Speaker Jeff Hoover and two other Republican lawmakers have dropped their lawsuit against a former staffer who accused them of sexual harassment.

Hoover, Rep. Michael Meredith and former Rep. Jim DeCesare sued Marissa Espinosa, a former communications staffer for the Republican House Caucus, for allegedly disclosing details of a secret settlement dealing with the harassment allegations.

The lawmakers paid Espinosa $110,000 to avoid a lawsuit, and all parties signed a nondisclosure agreement.

 


medical marijuana
Pixabay

Twenty-one states have legalized marijuana for medical use. Now Kentucky is debating medicinal marijuana. Public support is growing in Kentucky and legislation made it out of a House committee in this year's General Assembly session. Now the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky is hosting a public forum to answer questions on medical marijuana.

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