About Ryan Alessi

Ryan Alessi joined cn|2 in May 2010 as senior managing editor and host of Pure Politics. He is now pursuing an advanced degree in non-fiction writing from Murray State University and is a regular contributor to Pure Politics. Ryan has covered politics for more than 14 years, including seven years as a reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader. Ryan can be reached at purepolitics@twcable.com or @mycn2.

With an eye toward '16, Paul calls McConnell's win a 'repudiation' of Obama and Hillary Clinton

11/04/2014 03:18 PM

While Tuesday night in Kentucky belonged to U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul found some takeaways that could point to his 2016 presidential race ambitions. Paul called McConnell’s 15-point win over Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes a “repudiation” of President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. “She ran into the arms of Hillary Clinton and said she was a Clinton Democrat,” Paul said of Grimes. “In Kentucky, we’re not too happy with being a Clinton Democrat or an Obama Democrat.” Paul said... Read more 

After casting their ballots, it's all over but the counting for McConnell and Grimes

11/04/2014 12:46 PM

Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell and Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes punctuated their 2014 campaigns by voting Tuesday morning, presumably for themselves, although Grimes has been notoriously guarded about casting her personal election ballots. McConnell and his wife, former U.S. Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, filled out their ballot at their Louisville precinct at Bellarmine University’s Knights Hall shortly after 11 a.m. McConnell answered just one question on his way out – regarding his expectations for becoming U.S. Senate majority leader... Read more 

Amid legal wranglings over mailings in eastern Ky., Grimes barnstorms western Ky.

11/02/2014 02:31 PM

MURRAY – Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes denounced Republican mailers using the heading “Election Violation Notice” as a bullying tactic as she sought to whip up votes during her final two-day swing through much of western Kentucky. Grimes told the more than 75 people who squeezed into the Hungry Bear pancake house in Murray Sunday morning that the race is now in their hands. Western Kentucky voters have gotten used to that responsibility in recent years as they helped give Bill... Read more 

McConnell wants to stop flights from nations with Ebola outbreaks, supports sending U.S. troops to Africa

10/15/2014 04:34 PM

MURRAY — U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell said Wednesday that concerns about the global spread of Ebola are great enough that the United States should halt flights from countries affected by the disease. “I’m not an expert on this, but it strikes me that it would be a good idea to discontinue flights from that part of the world,” he told Pure Politics on Wednesday before he attended a meeting with leaders at the Briggs & Stratton plant in downtown Murray.... Read more 

Top 10 Kentucky state House Races -- September edition

09/14/2014 08:15 AM

The House races remain in shadows of this election season nearly two weeks past Labor Day as candidates hold their money for the final weeks. These contests have been overpowered so far by the massiveness of the U.S. Senate race machines. But that doesn’t diminish the stakes: control of a legislative chamber in which Democrats hold their narrowest margin in decades with 54 seats to the Republicans’ 46. And good candidates have been wearing out their shoe leather, going door-to-door and... Read more 

So far 2015 Democratic primary for governor is unusually quiet for an open-seat race

08/04/2014 10:45 AM

MAYFIELD — While the 2015 governor’s race was a consistent subplots among Republicans attending the 2014 Fancy Farm festivities, most Democrats spent the weekend avoiding the subject or at least downplaying it. Even Attorney General Jack Conway — the only Democratic candidate who has announced for next year’s race — seemed to consciously place his candidacy to the side. He didn’t mention his run for governor in his three-minute remarks to Democrats Friday night at the Marshall County Bean Supper,... Read more 

Is it time for Kentucky to create a debate commission?

08/03/2014 06:05 PM

MURRAY — Here’s the good news: Both Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell and Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes said this weekend they “sure hope” they can debate each other. The bad news is that it’s now August and words and deeds are not matching up. Their campaigns have yet to agree on the parameters for a debate — or even another joint appearance after Saturday’s yell-fest at the annual Fancy Farm’s St. Jerome Parish picnic. Neville Blakemore III, a Democrat... Read more 

Despite a modern selfie, old-time politics rules in biggest Fancy Farm ever

08/02/2014 07:10 PM

FANCY FARM – While this year’s political speaking at St. Jerome Parish began with a selfie, it quickly returned to its 19th century roots of zingers and criticism between the U.S. Senate candidates, their allies and a record-breaking crowd. Both Democratic candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes and Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell acquitted themselves without making gaffes as they yelled over the evenly divided crowd of largely blue t-shirt wearing Grimes supporters and red-clad McConnell backers. But it was the supporting... Read more 

GOP Breakfast: McConnell and Paul step up efforts to flip incumbency argument

08/02/2014 10:13 AM

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes might be the challenger, but Republicans are concentrating their messages to describe her as a pawn of the Democrats — and essentially as a pseudo-incumbent. U.S. Sens. Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul delivered that unified message at the Graves County Republican breakfast Saturday, which is a warm-up for the Fancy Farm picnic’s political speaking event. “She’s a new face for the status quo – for no change whatsoever. She’s a new... Read more 

Potential changes to death penalty in Kentucky gaining traction among lawmakers

08/01/2014 04:20 PM

PADUCAH — By the statements and reactions from lawmakers at Friday’s Judiciary Committee meeting, Kentucky’s legislature is unlikely to abolish the death penalty any time soon. But a more than two hour meeting on the future of capital punishment revealed a growing consensus that Kentucky leaders must move to make changes to the system. That includes adopting some of the recommendations the American Bar Association made its review of Kentucky’s system in 2011. For instance, Kentucky doesn’t require the preservation... Read more