Politics & Government

Will Obama's candidacy bring change to Kentucky?

Last week, Sen. Barack Obama made a nationally televised speech that put race at the center of American political discourse. That's not a place where Kentucky is entirely comfortable.

Kentucky, after all, waited until 1976 to ratify the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments to the U.S. Constitution, the laws that outlawed slavery and ensured blacks equal protection and the right to vote. It's never elected a black to statewide office. There are now six blacks in the state House of Representatives and one in the state Senate. According to a study by the Secretary of State, there are five black mayors and two black circuit court justices in the entire state.

But now into Kentucky's 20th-century political scene comes the most cutting edge 21st-century presidential race anyone could imagine — a black man and a white woman vying for the top spot. Some believe the race might be generating enough excitement — no matter who wins — to lift Kentucky out of its hidebound political traditions.

Read the full story at Kentucky.com.