Our Mission
The Commonwealth Policy Center (CPC) is dedicated to preserving the bedrock values of life, marriage and fiscal responsibility in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. It affirms as stated in the Kentucky Constitution that our civil, political and religious liberties come from God. To that end, it seeks to educate the general public on critical issues of the day, work for policies that grow the Commonwealth, protect our freedoms, and influence elections on behalf of conservative candidates. CPC is a non-profit, non-partisan organization and seeks to elevate the standards of conduct in the political process.


"I appreciate the strong stance that The Commonwealth Policy Center has taken on finding and promoting Christ-Centered Conservatives.  Their efforts helped me get my message out when I was so greatly outspent by my opponent.  The people of this state and this nation are better by your efforts." 

Auditor of Public Accounts, Mike Harmon


"It is refreshing and most welcome to have the Commonwealth Policy Center working in our state to provide valuable information and insight on the critical issues of our day. In a media world where there are many voices which espouse views and beliefs contrary to what we read in scripture, the availability of the Commonwealth Policy Center as a media resource is a wonderful asset. Its op-ed articles are very helpful to our newspaper and, as a result, to our readers." 

Chip Hutcheson, President of the National Newspaper Association
Publisher of The Princeton Times Leader

"The longer I know Richard Nelson the more I appreciate his Christian faith, deep convictions, and tireless commitment to families and communities in the Commonwealth. Richard understands Kentucky values because he shares those values. And he has been a great help to people and churches all across the state who want to see our values preserved. As a fellow Baptist, I never have to wonder where Richard will stand on an issue. As a kind and thoughtful conservative, I never have to worry about how Richard will represent our people or positions. He continues to be a great help especially to those of us who are on the front lines in the religious liberty and right to life battles."

Paul Chitwood, Executive Director of the Kentucky Baptist Convention


"The Commonwealth Policy Center has already begun to make a difference across Kentucky by accurately informing voters about the record and platform of candidates for public office.  Too often, the truth gets lost in the overwhelming wave of information during a campaign, yet on issues as critical as religious freedom, prayer, casino gambling and the protection of unborn children, the need for clear and concise information is that much more valuable to voters and candidates alike.  With its expertise in print, radio, web and social media, the CPC will continue to advance conservative values and shape the debate in races across the Commonwealth." 

KY State Senator Whitney H. Westerfield, State Senate District 3


“The Commonwealth Policy Center has been a blessing to work with while serving in Frankfort.  They strongly support the principles of the value of life, marriage defined between one man and one woman, and fiscal responsibility; principles that are essential for a democracy like ours to be successful.  As the foundation of our country comes under constant attack from liberal groups, I appreciate The Commonwealth Policy Center being in the trenches with me in this fight.”  

KY State Representative Brian E. Linder, State House District 61

“Pastors and churches often find themselves at a terrible disadvantage trying to stay abreast of the rapid changes in social policy and the constant assault on our religious freedoms. While we rightly busy ourselves with the main calling of the gospel, we often fail to notice that the liberties that enable that task are being systematically eroded and even attacked. Kentuckians of faith are blessed that we have the Commonwealth Policy Center not only to inform us, but also to stand guard and defend our most precious rights and to affect change consistent with our beliefs.”  

Pastor Hershael York, Buck Run Baptist Church, Frankfort, KY


"The Commonwealth Policy Center is the only grassroots organization of its kind in Kentucky working to elect conservative candidates and shaping conservative public policies for the Commonwealth. They had a tremendous impact on my election to the state House in 2012. Through their voter guide and endorsement, the voters clearly understood who the conservative candidate was. To top it off, CPC engages the public in a respectful and responsible way. I applaud what you are doing!" 

KY State Representative Kenny Imes, State House District 5


"The Commonwealth Policy Center made a big difference in my election.  Many voters told me how much they appreciated my stand on life and marriage after reading your voter guide. Your endorsement and credibility as an honest and respectful organization helped many voters decide in my favor. Thank you for your good work. The people of Kentucky will greatly benefit from what you are doing."

KY State Representative Jonathan Shell, State House District 36


“Commonwealth Policy Center is quickly becoming a force in Kentucky politics.  They effectively communicated my and my opponent’s positions on issues important to Kentucky’s families to thousands of people in my district.  They did so in my race through mail and radio.  Simply stated, CPC was everywhere!  I am immensely grateful for what they do.”

Tim Kline, 2012 candidate for KY State House District 7


"The Commonwealth Policy Center is a valuable resource both for conservative candidates and for voters who want information about where candidates and officials stand on issues such as the protection of life and fiscal responsibility."  

KY State Senator Sara Beth Gregory, State Senate District 16

“The Commonwealth Policy Center had a very positive impact on my race last year. I filled out their survey and my opponent chose not to. When the mailer came out with our pictures and the results of the survey it had caught the attention of a great many voters. I appreciate all the hard work the CPC and Richard Nelson does to help elect conservative candidates to office.” 

KY State Representative Richard Heath, State House District 2


“It has been my pleasure to work with the Commonwealth Policy Center, a true voice for conservative values in the Commonwealth. The CPC stands up to those who espouse political liberalism and articulates in a concise and understandable manner what we conservatives believe. The CPC and I share a common goal of advancing the cause of freedom and the Judaeo-Christian values on which our country was founded. I strongly recommend the Commonwealth Policy Center as a source of information for those interested in the future of Kentucky.”  

KY State Representative Lynn Bechler, State House District 4


"The Commonwealth Policy Center has been a great advocate of expanding the ranks of conservative lawmakers in Frankfort.  Through its voter education efforts, it has become a key player in returning common sense, fiscal responsibility, and a growing voice for Right to Life in Frankfort.  This tremendously dynamic group has proven effective as it works to support conservative candidates in Kentucky. With your help, the Commonwealth Policy Center will help move Kentucky in a positive, principled direction." 

KY State Rep. Tim Moore, State House District 26

"I have been a fan of The Commonwealth Policy Center since it's inception. It is an organization that supports traditional family values and courageously stands up for important social issues such as Right to Life and Religious Freedom. They have been an outspoken opponent in the fight against expanded gambling in our state. They continually provide a very valuable service in recruiting socially and fiscally conservative candidates to run for public office. I appreciate their work and look forward to the growing impact they are already making in our state." 

KY State Senator Mike Wilson, State Senate District 32

"The vigilant protection of religious liberty is a value that all of us hold sacred.  Unfortunately, for many the incremental erosion of this freedom goes ignored until there is a sea change in our laws and cultural norms.  The Commonwealth Policy Center is a watchman on the wall when it comes to alerting churches and their members to the coming behemoth I call the “marginalization of the Christian world-view”.  Having worked alongside Richard Nelson, I have witnessed his courage, commitment to Christ and his willingness to sacrifice in order to stand guard at the gate. We are indeed blessed to have this vital ministry." 

Larry L. Crain, Founder and Senior Counsel for Church Law Institute, Nashville, TN 



About the Director
Richard Nelson

Richard Nelson is the executive director of the Commonwealth Policy Center. He currently serves on the Pennyrile Christian Community Board and previously served on the Trigg County Hospital Corporation Board and also the Trigg County Fiscal Court as magistrate.

Richard’s articles and opinion pieces have appeared in several newspapers including the Lexington Herald-Leader, Cincinnati Enquirer, and Louisville Courier-Journal. He’s been a guest on Kentucky Educational Television’s (KET) Kentucky Tonight program. He hosts an hour-long, live weekly radio program that reaches much of Western Kentucky and produces the Commonwealth Minute—a daily radio commentary aired on dozens of stations. He is also a regular guest on radio shows throughout the state. He is available to speak to churches, governmental bodies and civic groups across the Commonwealth.

He served as a policy analyst with The Family Foundation of Kentucky from 1997-2012. Previous employment includes: Field biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Jamestown, ND; Research assistant in the Wisconsin State Capitol; Policy analyst for Family Research Institute of Wisconsin: and Board of Directors for Pro-life Wisconsin. He graduated with a BS in triple majors of biology, wildlife management and resource management from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in 1992 and earned a Master of Arts in public policy from Regent University in 1995. He is certified by the Wildlife Society as a wildlife biologist and certified by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction as a secondary education teacher in environmental science.

Richard is an outdoors enthusiast and formerly ran an award-winning taxidermy studio in Cadiz, KY. In his free time, he enjoys hunting, fishing and camping with his family at Land between the Lakes. Father of three girls and a boy, he resides in Cadiz with his wife Kari of 26 years on their farm where they keep cattle, horses, two dogs, two cats and a llama named Charlie.