kentucky

Outsider Bevin Hires Insider Chief of Staff

Establishment Republicans gave Bevin's chief of staff choice high marks. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

Maybe Republican Matt Bevin isn’t going to burn down Frankfort after all.  

The Kentucky Republican rocked the GOP establishment by challenging Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in last year’s primary and irked some party strategists this year by running his gubernatorial campaign strictly on his own terms.  

White House Deflects Blame for GOP Gains

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Shifting demographics and Republican turnout fueled another victorious election night for Republican candidates, the White House contends, not the president or his health care law.  

The morning after a Republican won the Kentucky governor's race and a year after another GOP success in the midterms, reporters pushed Press Secretary Josh Earnest Wednesday on whether President Barack Obama is to blame for Republican gains in Congress and at the state level since he took office. Republicans also won races in Mississippi and Virginia, and GOP officials said those victories show the party has momentum headed into 2016.  

Kentucky Governor Race Tilts Toward Democrats

Bevin, shown here during his 2014 Senate campaign, has underwhelmed some Republican strategists in his run for governor. (File Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

With just weeks to go before the Nov. 3 election, Democratic state Attorney General Jack Conway has a narrow advantage over Republican Matt Bevin in the Kentucky governor race.  

The race certainly isn’t over, and public polling has the two candidates virtually running even. But Bevin’s personal ratings have declined in the face of Democratic attacks, while Conway’s image has consistently been in better shape.  

More Democratic Losses Could Be on the Horizon

Bevin, shown during his unsuccessful Senate race in 2014, is more popular in Kentucky than inside the Beltway. (CQ Roll Call File Photo by Tom Williams)

For Democrats anxious to turn the page from a terrible 2014 cycle, the news might get worse before it gets better.  

Last fall, Democrats lost control of the Senate and fell further into the minority in the House, but pinned much of the blame on low turnout in the midterm elections. Party strategists were more than ready to look ahead to 2016, when the presidential race should boost turnout among Democratic constituencies. But at least one race this fall could dampen some of the Democratic enthusiasm heading into next year.  

Yarmuth Retirement Rumor Offers Window Into Future

Before Monday's news conference, there were rumors Yarmuth would announce he was retiring or even resigning. (File Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rumors that Kentucky Rep. John Yarmuth was poised to retire or resign were hot and heavy right up until the moment the Democratic congressman announced his re-election bid  on Monday. But the public uncertainty provided a brief glimpse into what the race to replace him might look like when he decides to call it quits.  

The exit rumors weren’t just wishful thinking by a Republican Party that hasn’t been able to seriously challenge for the Louisville-based 3rd District since Yarmuth knocked off popular GOP Rep. Anne Northup in 2006. Local Democrats were buzzing about the congressman’s plans and some were even preparing bids for an open seat.