Churchill hires gambling lobbyist

Churchill Downs Inc. has hired a gambling industry lobbyist with ties to Kentucky lawmakers Sen. Mitch McConnell and Rep. Ed Whitfield.

D. Brett Hale has been named senior vice president of corporate and government relations, according to a Churchill Downs news release.

Hale, who has been with the American Gaming Association in Washington for eight years, previously was chief of staff for Whitfield, R-Hopkinsville, and a legislative assistant for McConnell.

"Brett's career experience and strong ties to Kentucky are a great combination," said Robert L. Evans, Churchill president and CEO.

Hale also has worked for Sen. Slade Gorton, R-Wash., as well as the National Republican Senatorial Committee and Republican National Committee.