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.

J. Tyler Franklin

Adam Edelen is one of four Democrats running for governor this year, and he's is doing something most Democrats running for statewide office in Kentucky have avoided…running as a progressive. Capitol reporter Ryland Barton has this profile.

J. Tyler Franklin / WFPL

This week in Kentucky politics, Gov. Matt Bevin finished crafting a new version of the pension bill he vetoed last month and is trying to rally support. He also unveiled his first reelection ad, which is scheduled to air during the Kentucky Derby. And Democrats running for governor have officially taken their gloves off.

J. Tayler Franklin / WFPL

Gov. Matt Bevin has crafted a new version of the pension bill he vetoed last month and is expected to call a special session for lawmakers to consider the issue soon.

The measure is similar to the one that Bevin rejected last month. It allows regional universities and agencies like health departments to exit the state’s pension system to avoid a spike in the amount of money they have to contribute to it.

Ryland Barton

This week in Kentucky politics, Gov. Matt Bevin stepped into controversy again by claiming teacher protests caused a child to be shot in Louisville. And Democratic candidates for governor took part in their first televised debate of the campaign season, differing on the abortion issue.

Ryland Barton

Gov. Matt Bevin made his reelection pitch to a group of Louisville business leaders on Thursday, saying that the other candidates vying for his job are making “grandiose claims and promises.”

J. Tyler Franklin / WFPL

Kentucky’s Democratic candidates for governor participated in the first televised debate of the campaign season Wednesday night. They argued over issues like abortion, how to generate more revenue for the state and who has the best chance to beat incumbent Gov. Matt Bevin.


When Gov. Matt Bevin vetoed the pension bill that passed out of the legislature last month, he promised to call lawmakers back to Frankfort to do it all over again in a special legislative session before July 1.

lightwise / 123rf Stock Photo

Monday is the deadline to register to vote in Kentucky’s primary elections this year, which include races for governor, state attorney general and a handful of other statewide offices.

Ryland Barton

This week in Kentucky politics, Democratic candidates for governor finally appeared on stage for the first time ahead of next month’s primary election. And a battle is waging over the votes of teachers, who held massive protests in Frankfort in recent years.

Ryland Barton

With about a month to go before Kentucky’s primary elections, all three major Democratic candidates for governor appeared together on stage for the first time on Thursday.