Kentucky’s annual turn on the national stage is our chance to look at the state’s politics with a national perspective. This year we’re electing a governor and other state constitutional officers, and messages in the May 16 Republican primary are dominated by the national themes of identity politics and the culture war; even agriculture-commissioner candidate ads decry ”woke liberals.”

We have national players, including Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell, who despite their enmity appear to be aligned in the governor’s race; and Kentucky quirks, such as a billionaire coal operator spending record sums for a primary to get the governorship for his wife, who has never held elective office. Here’s the program for the political derby:

Al Cross

Al Cross

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