UPDATE: Matt Bevin used his right to a recanvasing that took place today, but in the end, the exiting governor said he couldn’t fight the numbers.
“We’re going to have a change in the governorship based on the vote of the people,” Bevin said at a news conference.
“I truly wish the attorney general well as the next governor of this state as he assumes these responsibilities,” he said.
By Ben Gierhart
Tuesday, November 5, 2019 was a nail biter of a night for Kentucky as the election results trickled in. Democrats lost seat after seat to Republicans in a red sweep. Kentucky elected Allison Ball (R) over Michael Bowman (D) in the race for treasurer, Mike Harmon (R) over Sheri Donahue (D) for auditor, Ryan Quarles (R) over Robert Haley Conway (D) for agriculture commissioner, Michael Adams (R) over Heather French Henry (D) for secretary of state, and Daniel Cameron (R) over Gregory Stumbo (D) for attorney general. As the night wore on, more and more attention was paid to the gubernatorial race as the only source of hope for Democrats.
As anticipated, it was a tight race, but it may have come as a shock even to election prognosticators how close it was.
After 100 percent of precincts reported their results at the end of the night, Beshear edged ahead with 711,955 votes over Bevin’s 707,297. That’s a difference of 4,658 votes or roughly 0.3 percent of the plurality of voters. Libertarian John Hicks’ draw accounts for the missing two percent of votes.
Beshear does currently have the plurality of votes necessary to become the governor-elect, but as just recently announced, Bevin is utilizing his right to a recanvassing of the election, which essentially is a recount as well as an inspection of each voting machine used in the election to make sure there were not irregularities in the way votes were counted. This will take place on Thursday, November 14, 2019 at 9 a.m.
“The people of Kentucky deserve a fair and honest election. With reports of irregularities, we are exercising the right to ensure that every lawful vote was counted,” Bevin said in a press release.
Bevin also does have the ability to contest the election itself within 30 days of the result of the recanvassing. The General Assembly of the state legislature would review the election results and make a final decision.
Beshear has declared himself the governor-elect and expressed an eagerness to get started by promising to rescind Bevin’s Medicaid waiver, restore voting rights to non-violent felons in the state, and structure a new state board of education as his first orders of business.
Even if Beshear’s win is made official, as virtually the only possible state executive Democrat to have been elected this year, he will certainly have his work cut out for him. QueerKentucky will keep readers updated on the status of the election as the story develops.