Ryland Barton

Kentucky Public Radio State Capitol Reporter

Ryland is the state capitol reporter for Kentucky Public Radio. He's covered politics and state government for NPR member stations KWBU in Waco and KUT in Austin. Always looking to put a face to big issues, Ryland's reporting has taken him to drought-weary towns in West Texas and relocated communities in rural China. He's covered breaking news like the 2014 shooting at Fort Hood Army Base and the aftermath of the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas. 

Ryland has a bachelor's degree from the University of Chicago and a master's degree in journalism from the University of Texas. He grew up in Lexington.


Protesters who have been livestreaming protests over racism and police violence in Louisville say they are being targeted by law enforcement after recent arrests of prominent livestreamers.

Gov. Andy Beshear

  A Northern Kentucky judge has temporarily blocked Gov. Andy Beshear’s coronavirus-related restrictions that limit attendance at car racetracks and childcare centers.

Jess Clark / WFPL

Frustrated with the slow-moving bureaucracy of the state’s unemployment system, Titus McClung was one of thousands of protesters who went to the state capitol to try and get his unemployment check.

via Facebook, Amy McGrath

  Retired Marine fighter pilot Amy McGrath has won Kentucky’s Democratic primary for U.S. Senate and will take on Mitch McConnell in the fall after a close race with progressive state Rep. Charles Booker.

Kentuckians on Tuesday will weigh in on the suddenly competitive race among Democrats vying to take on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Former Marine Corps fighter pilot Amy McGrath was the clear favorite in the race early on, having raised millions of dollars with the help of establishment Democratic leaders.


  Lebron James, Hillary Clinton, Stacey Abrams and several other national figures say they’re worried that Kentucky will have too few polling places during the state’s primary elections on Tuesday, leading to voter suppression. But local election officials and experts say their fears are overblown.


A federal judge has ruled that Kentucky’s most populous counties will not have more than one polling location during the upcoming primary elections.


Amy McGrath was the first woman to fly an F/A-18 fighter jet in combat. She flew 89 missions during her 20-year military career, worked as a foreign affairs adviser in Congress, then worked in the Pentagon and finally became a Naval Academy instructor.

Architect of the Capitol

  Mitch McConnell has been in the Senate since 1985, but this is the first year he will be running for reelection while holding the title of majority leader — the powerful position that allows him to set the agenda of the Senate but also makes him a lightning rod for opposition.

Wikimedia Commons

  Kentucky’s 2020 Senate race will be one of the most closely watched in the nation because of who currently holds the seat: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has been in office since 1985.