07/12/2009 11:00PM

Kevin Flanery new Churchill president


Churchill Downs Inc. on Monday named Kevin Flanery, its senior vice president of national public affairs and communications, as the president of its Louisville track.

Flanery will take over a position last held by Steve Sexton, who in January was moved to a new subsidiary at Churchill's parent company. Flanery will report to Bill Carstanjen, who is the chief operating officer of Churchill Downs Inc.

Flanery was first hired at Churchill in 2005 as vice president of national public affairs. He has been most closely associated with Churchill's public-relations efforts surrounding the company's attempts to get authorization for slot machines at its racetracks.

In 2008, Flanery headed up a public-relations campaign to get authorization for slot machines at the company's Calder Race Course in Florida. Voters approved the machines in a referendum early that year.

Churchill and other Kentucky racetracks have been aggressively lobbying for slot machines over the past several years, but so far, the efforts have been unsuccessful. During a special session in June, the Kentucky House of Representatives passed a bill legalizing slots at all seven state racetracks, but the bill died at the committee level in the Senate. The legislation is expected to be resurrected next year, or in another special session that may be called in the fall.

Prior to joining Churchill, Flanery was a secretary of the Kentucky Finance and Administration Cabinet and president of Hagan Properties, a real-estate development company. He graduated from Bellarmine University with a degree in psychology and received his law degree from the University of Kentucky.