Phillip M. Bailey

Phillip M. Bailey became WFPL's political editor in 2011, covering city, state and regional campaigns and elected officials. He also covers Metro Government, including the mayor's office and Metro Council. Before coming to WFPL, Phillip worked for three years as a staff writer at LEO Weekly and was a fellow at the Academy of Alternative Journalism at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.

Kentucky’s youngest voters have enough pull to decide the outcome in this year’s U.S. Senate race, according to a Tufts University report.

That fact is pivotal for Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes, who many believe needs a strategy shakeup in order to defeat Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell this fall.

In 2008, McConnell won re-election by about 106,000 votes. This year’s contest could be much closer.

The longtime head of Kentucky’s agency overseeing state campaign finance law is stepping down later this year.

Sarah Jackson announced this week she is retiring as executive director of the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance effective Nov. 1 after serving in the position since 1999.

“Sarah has been a tremendous asset to the agency and a true professional as executive director. The agency is stronger for it,” said KREF board chairman Craig C. Dilger in a released statement.

The U.S. Senate gave overwhelming approval Thursday to a measure aimed at training and arming Syrian rebels fighting the Islamic State.

By a 78-22 margin, senators backed a plan to combat the terrorist group, a plan that was pushed by President Obama and tucked in a larger spending bill. The House approved the same measure a day earlier by a similarly comfortable margin.

Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes said Thursday she would vote against arming and training Syrian forces combating the Islamic State.

The Senate is scheduled to take up a vote on the measure this afternoon, which passed through the House on Wednesday by a 273-156 tally.

After a six-hour debate, the U.S. House approved a bipartisan measure to train and arm Syrian rebels fighting the Islamic State on Wednesday.

Congress adopted an amendment to the spending bill allowing the Obama administration to provide aid against the terrorist group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which is also referred to as ISIS, or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

 The leader of a national labor union said Wednesday Kentucky’s U.S. Senate race is a top priority for organized labor that could define the country’s direction over the next two decades.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky is calling on Kentucky Educational Television to hold a more inclusive U.S. Senate debate next month.

KET is set to hold a debate featuring Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell and Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes on Oct. 13.

Libertarians have taken KET to task, however, for creating new debate criteria that party leaders argue was aimed at excluding their candidate, David Patterson, from participating.

The campaign to elect Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes wants donors and supporters to know she still has a shot at beating Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell this fall.

That’s what one can gather from an internal poll and subsequent messages Grimes’ team sent out Wednesday showing Grimes with a 1-point lead.

Grimes’ campaign memo highlights the advantages she carries into the last two months of the race, such as being better liked by voters who know each candidates.

Spending in Kentucky’s U.S. Senate contest is expected to top $100 million, which could buy a lot in a poor state like this one.

The campaigns and aligned groups for Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell and Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes are putting much of that cash into television ads.

Less than a week after his top campaign aide, Jesse Benton, stepped down while being circled by questions from a federal bribery case, Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell is ready to move forward.

“We’re moving on,” McConnell told the Lexington Herald-Leader on Tuesday. “We've got 60-some odd days left in the campaign. We're talking about the future and not the past.”

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