Kentucky governor race too close to call: Bevin is not conceding as Beshear claims victory

Published: Nov. 5, 2019 at 10:10 PM EST
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12:30 a.m., November 6

Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers suggested a possible option as the 2019 governor's race came to a razor-thin close.

News outlets report Stivers mentioned a "contested election" in the general assembly could decide the next governor. Such an election has not been held in Kentucky since 1899.

11:30 p.m., November 5

The race for governor in Kentucky between incumbent GOP Gov. Matt Bevin and Democratic challenger Andy Beshear is still too close to call, but national leaders are still chiming in with their thoughts at the end of Election Day.

"Although we have a governor's race that is too close to call, Republicans have much to celebrate tonight. A complete sweep of Constitutional offices with the Attorney General, Auditor, Commissioner of Agriculture, Secretary of State, and Treasurer is an amazing sign of strength for Republican governance in Kentucky," said U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. "I'm particularly proud of the historic election of Daniel Cameron, who will become the first African American Attorney General of Kentucky. I want to thank President Trump for his efforts to ensure all of these incredible candidates won their elections this evening."

“Congratulations to Governor-elect Beshear, Kentucky Democrats, and DGA Chair Raimondo — this earth-shattering victory in a state Trump won by 30 points should terrify him and every Republican running in 2020. Governor-elect Beshear has dedicated his life to solving big problems and working on the issues that keep families up at night, and I’m proud to see him take that fight to the governor’s mansion," said Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez.

10:15 p.m., November 5

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin is not conceding his close race against Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear in Kentucky.

Bevin told his supporters Tuesday night that the process needs to be followed in such a close race - an apparent reference to the process of checking to ensure ballots were reported and added correctly.

The governor said: "Would it be a Bevin race if it wasn't a squeaker?" He won the Republican primary for governor by a few dozen votes four years ago.

"I mean come on, I mean really truly it's a close, close race. We are not conceding this race, not a chance. But, here's the thing, understand this we want the process to be followed and there is a process," added Bevin.

For his part, Beshear declared victory and told his supporters that he hoped Bevin will honor the election results.

"It’s my expectation that he will honor the election that was held tonight and he will help us make this transition, and let me tell you what, we will be ready for that first day in office and I look forward to it," said Beshear.

Beshear thanked his family and also acknowledged teachers. During the campaign, Beshear exploited Bevin's feud with teachers over pensions and education issues, an issue that resonated with voters.

Beshear said, "To our educators, this is your victory."


10:10 p.m., November 5

The race for governor in Kentucky between incumbent GOP Gov. Matt Bevin and Democratic challenger Andy Beshear is too close to call.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Beshear has a lead of 5,189 votes out of more than 1.4 million counted, or a margin of 0.3 percentage points.

There is no mandatory recount law in Kentucky. Bevin may request counties to recanvass their results, which is not a recount, but rather a check of the vote count to ensure the results were added correctly.

Bevin would need to seek and win a court's approval for a recount, the process for which would be dictated by the court.

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