Les Fugate is an Executive Vice President at RunSwitch. An accomplished former political aide, non-profit executive, and communications and public relations practitioner, he has conducted thousands of interviews for media outlets as diverse as Kentucky weekly newspapers to all of the major national broadcast media and many international outlets. He also directed several successful legislative campaigns and public affairs initiatives that have had major impacts on the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
Fugate served seven years in Frankfort as the chief political aide to former Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson. He directed Grayson’s communications office, legislative affairs, and local elected official outreach. Grayson is widely considered to be Kentucky’s most effective Secretary of State in the Commonwealth’s history. Fugate led Grayson’s effort to pass several legislative packages and directed the communications effort that was regarded as one of the best of its kind in the nation.
Fugate has also served as Executive Vice President of Congressman Hal Roger’s Center for Rural Development in Somerset, KY and as the Director of Alumni and Annual Giving for Kentucky’s prestigious Governor’s Scholars Program. He recently owned his on strategic affairs firm where he led public relations and government relations campaigns, including the management of a statewide association.
An accomplished communicator, Fugate has presented media training to the Kentucky County Clerk’s Association, The Election Center, and the International Association of Clerks and Recorders. He has also presented social media training to the National Association of Secretaries of State and has served as their communications director for their summer conference.
In 2007, Fugate was recognized with the Jennifer Schaff Memorial Award. This honor is presented to the outstanding government communicator in Kentucky by the Bluegrass Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He has been recognized as Business First’s 40 under 40 and Velocity Magazine’s 14 Next Generation of Leaders for Louisville. He has been recognized with numerous awards from the Association of Marking and Communications Professionals and the Kentucky Association of Government Communicators, among others. In 2011, he was honored by Centre College with the 2011 Distinguished Young Alumnus Award. He is a graduate of Leadership Kentucky, Leadership East Kentucky, Focus Louisville, Ignite Louisville, and Leadership Louisville Center’s Bingham Fellows Program and is currently participating in the 2017 Leadership Louisville Class
As a one of Kentucky’s top political strategists, Les is regularly quoted in political stories across the commonwealth and can be seen often as a political analyst for Spectrum cable’s Pure Politics program, Kentucky’s leading nightly political newscast.
Fugate is a Cum Laude graduate of Centre College and earned his master’s degree from Vanderbilt University where he concentrated on government relations, communications, and fundraising.
Les serves in a variety of volunteer roles most notably serving as a member of the board of directors for Leadership Kentucky, the YMCA of Kentucky, as an at-large member of the Jenny Wiley Theatre Board of Directors, and as a member of the KY Oral Health Coalition.
Executive Vice President, RunSwitch PR (Present)
Owner and Principal, Fugate Strategic Affairs (2012)
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer,
The Center for Rural Development (2011)
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State,
Office of the Secretary of State (2007-2011)
Director of Communications and Executive Advisor,
Office of the Secretary of State (2004-2007)
Director of Alumni and Annual Giving, Kentucky Governor’s Scholars Program (2002-2003)