Kevin Wheatley

Kevin Wheatley is a Video Journalist for Spectrum News and covers Kentucky politics and all the goings-on at the State Capitol. Kevin was born and raised in Frankfort so he grew up around politics and has always had the drive to follow the political process and hold lawmakers accountable. Before joining Spectrum News Kevin covered government and politics for The State Journal in Frankfort. You can watch Kevin’s work weeknights at 7:00 and 11:30 on Pure Politics, available exclusively on Spectrum News, HD Channels 403 and 715. You can reach him at or 502-792-1135.

Sen. Thomas talks his interest in possibly challenging Congressman Barr in next year's midterms

05/23/2017 09:13 PM

LEXINGTON — As national Democrats look to wrest control of the U.S. House of Representatives from Republicans in next year’s midterm elections, state Sen. Reginald Thomas believes the road to a majority must pass through Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District. Thomas, in an interview with Pure Politics at his church Tuesday, said his interest in the race rose after his potential opponent, Congressman Andy Barr, voted for the American Health Care Act earlier this month. “When you vote to repeal the Affordable... Read more 

Kelly Knight Craft will be nominated as next U.S. ambassador to Canada, report says

05/21/2017 09:33 AM

Kentuckian Kelly Knight Craft is set to become the next U.S. ambassador to Canada, according to a report by Canada’s CTV News Friday. Unnamed top U.S. officials told CTV News that Craft, a prominent Republican fundraiser alongside husband Joe Craft and a University of Kentucky trustee, will be nominated to the post soon. The news outlet said U.S. officials have informed their Canadian counterparts of Kelly Knight Craft’s impending nomination. Craft, a Glasgow native, will need to be confirmed by... Read more 

Kentucky Democrats hoping to build back 120-county network ahead of 2018 elections

05/20/2017 09:26 PM

FRANKFORT — The Kentucky Democratic Party is hoping to connect the state’s network of county parties and groups that are starting to emerge in the wake of President Donald Trump’s election. The KDP State Central Executive Committee discussed their plans to merge the efforts during a meeting at party headquarters Saturday. New KDP Executive Director Mary Nishimuta has begun traveling the state since she started the job last month, part of the Democratic Party’s renewed focus on a 120-county effort since... Read more 

Lowered assumptions result in billions more in pension debt with more on the horizon

05/18/2017 06:23 PM

Kentucky’s pension hole got a little deeper Thursday and will only worsen in the weeks ahead. The Kentucky Retirement Systems board of directors approved lower assumptions on investment returns, payroll growth and inflation for pension funds for the Kentucky Employees Retirement System non-hazardous plan, which covers most state workers and retirees, and the State Police Retirement System. Those changes immediately caused the state’s pension debt to grow by some $2.1 billion – almost entirely in the state employee pension fund — although... Read more 

Beshear raises possibility of investigation into real estate transaction between Bevin and KRS board member

05/17/2017 06:10 PM

Attorney General Andy Beshear says he may investigate a recent real estate transaction between Gov. Matt Bevin and a member of the Kentucky Retirement Systems board. Beshear, speaking to WHAS radio Tuesday morning, said he’s concerned that it appears Neil Ramsey, a member of the KRS board, sold a Jefferson County home to Bevin for “what appears to be half off.” He’s referencing a report by The Courier Journal that a Ramsey-owned company sold a home on... Read more 

Groups ask Judicial Conduct Commission to remove judge who recused self from LGBT adoption cases

05/16/2017 05:27 PM

The American Civil Liberties Union and others filed a complaint Tuesday against Barren Circuit Judge William Nance and asked the Judicial Conduct Commission to remove him from the bench. The ACLU of Kentucky, the Fairness Campaign, New York-based nonprofit Lambda Legal and University of Louisville law professor Sam Marcosson submitted the complaint, accusing Nance of eroding public confidence in the judiciary and failing to perform his duties impartially by issuing a blanket order recusing himself from adoption cases involving homosexuals. Nance... Read more 

Former Personnel Cabinet employee admits soliciting campaign dollars on state time in ethics settlement

05/16/2017 03:40 PM

A former aide in the Personnel Cabinet under Tim Longmeyer has admitted to violating the state ethics code after soliciting campaign donations from non-merit workers on state time and agreed to pay a $6,000 penalty. Walter Gaffield, the former executive director of the cabinet’s Office of Administrative Services, settled with the Executive Branch Ethics Commission Monday. The agency found that Gaffield had asked other non-merit employees in the Personnel Cabinet for contributions to a gubernatorial re-election campaign and a political party between... Read more 

The Chatter: Ex Social Security judge pleads guilty to bribes from former disability attorney Eric Conn

05/13/2017 04:30 PM

A former Social Security Administration judge has pleaded guilty to accepting more than $600,000 in bribes from former disability lawyer Eric Conn as he approved benefits for thousands of the disgraced attorney’s clients, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported Friday. David Black Daugherty pleaded guilty to two felony counts of accepting illegal gratuities, charges that could land the former judge behind bars for up to four years, and agreed to pay $609,000 in restitution, according to the report. Daugherty’s plea comes about... Read more 

Evander Holyfield's new company will promote inaugural boxing card at Freedom Hall next month

05/12/2017 06:00 PM

LOUISVILLE — Championship boxing is coming back to Louisville thanks to former four-time heavyweight champ Evander Holyfield’s new venture, and officials said Friday that they hope boxing will become a staple once again in Kentucky’s largest city. Holyfield and others announced a still unfinalized card set for June 24 at Freedom Hall, which will be headlined by an undisclosed title fight. The event will be part of the “I Am Ali” Festival, and Holyfield said his admiration for Muhammad Ali prompted... Read more 

Transportation Cabinet will present prioritized, less cluttered road plan under new SHIFT proposal

05/11/2017 05:34 PM

FRANKFORT — With next year’s budget session on the horizon, Transportation Cabinet Secretary Greg Thomas says his agency will take a new approach in presenting its proposed road plan. Thomas told the Program Review and Investigations Committee Thursday that he hopes the proposed funding strategy, called the Strategic Highway Investment Formula for Tomorrow, will create a leaner two-year construction plan and reduce over-programming. SHIFT will prioritize road projects based on a number of factors like safety, congestion and economic development. Thomas said... Read more