LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - Democrat Andy Beshear is claiming victory and is making his transition announcement Wednesday morning after a governor's race that was reportedly too close to call.
"Well I'm here today to announce the transition and we can only have a transition because the election is over but we are at, we are excited to move into this governance stage because we believe that we can put together a leadership team," Beshear said. "Not just for a transition, for a cabinet that can serve all Kentuckians."
Republican incumbent Governor Matt Bevin did not concede the race on Tuesday night, but Beshear stressed that the election is over.
"This race, this outcome, ain't gonna change. It's over. What now we are moving forward to make sure we have that type of smooth transition to where we can serve our people, you know, that very next day," Beshear said. "And I believe that Governor Bevin, after deciding whatever his options are or what he's gonna do, will help in that transition."
During his transition announcement, Beshear hit on several points, including education and partisanship. He also wanted to separate himself from national politics.
Beshear then mentioned he wanted to tackle a couple of issues right off the bat - he wants to rescind the Medicare waiver and put in a new education board.
"We're gonna look at every option that is out there to make sure that we can provide affordable and accessible healthcare to our people," he said.
He also named J. Michael Brown, his deputy attorney general, as his transition chair. Beshear said he would consult Attorney General-elect Daniel Cameron on who will fill Beshear's current Attorney General spot in the meantime.
"Our government, our whole system, is based on changes of authority and what distinguishes us is that it's peaceful and it's smooth," said Brown.
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.
"Regardless of this they voted, I'm gonna serve as their governor. And regardless of how they voted, I'm going to try and be a good governor for them," Beshear promised.
Bevin told his supporters Tuesday night that the process needs to be followed in such a close race. He then called for an official recanvass on Wednesday.
Beshear said despite Bevin not conceding yet, he believes it is only a matter of time.
Sister station WKYT reports according to the state's chief election officer, Secretary of State Allison Lundergan Grimes, Beshear is now the governor-elect.
She also says Bevin does have some options moving forward. The first option is requesting a recanvass, which we have already seen he has requested.
"The second procedure would be a contest proceeding, something that is wholly governed by Kentucky statute that would occur before the General Assembly," said Grimes.
Bevin could still file an election contest with the General Assembly after the recanvass. He has up to 30 days after the votes are certified to do that.
Bevin must contest the election in order to receive a recount of the votes. If that process is initiated, the General Assembly would form a committee of 11 randomly selected lawmakers that could take depositions, order a recount and make a recommendation to the full legislature.