Quick Takes

GOP ag commissioner candidate Jonathan Shell will not appear on KET’s ‘Kentucky Tonight’

By: - October 6, 2023 5:20 pm

KET will continue its series of Monday night interviews with candidates in the Nov. 7 election through the end of the month. (KET screenshot)

This story has been updated to show that the candidates for attorney general will not appear together on KET’s “Kentucky Tonight.” KET had invited them to debate Oct. 16.

Kentucky secretary of state and one of the two candidates for agriculture commissioner will answer questions Monday night from Renee Shaw on KET’s “Kentucky Tonight.”

KET notified media Friday afternoon that Republican Jonathan Shell would not be appearing on the program. His Democratic opponent for agriculture commissioner, Sierra Enlow, has confirmed that she will appear.

Kevin Grout, a spokesman for Shell’s campaign, said Shell had never accepted the invitation to participate in the live broadcast. KET contacted Shell’s campaign on Friday, Grout said.

KET sent out a second notice later Friday saying: “Republican candidate Jonathan Shell declined KET’s invitation to appear on the program. An earlier media advisory and subsequent update mistakenly implied that Shell was originally scheduled to appear on the program.”

KET will host both candidates for secretary of state — Republican incumbent Michael Adams and Democrat Charles “Buddy” Wheatley, a former state lawmaker — on the Monday program, beginning at 8/7 p.m as part of its series of election coverage on Monday nights in October.

Upcoming candidate appearances on KET, include:

  • Governor, Oct. 23;
  • Lieutenant governor, Oct. 30

All programs begin at 8/7 p.m. Candidates for auditor and treasurer appeared Oct. 2. The programs will be available for streaming at KET.org and on the PBS Video app.

Grout did not explain why Shell, a former state lawmaker and House majority floor leader, passed up the chance to appear on statewide television. Shell lost his House seat in a close GOP primary in 2018.

Grout said Shell will participate with Enlow in a Farm Bureau “Measure the Candidate Forum” that will be live-streamed beginning at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 10.


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Jamie Lucke
Jamie Lucke

Jamie Lucke has more than 40 years of experience as a journalist. Her editorials for the Lexington Herald-Leader won Walker Stone, Sigma Delta Chi and Green Eyeshade awards. She is a graduate of the University of Kentucky.