Beshear claims victory in Kentucky; Bevin refuses to concede

"We simply want to ensure that there is integrity in the process", Bevin said. At a news conference Wednesday, Mr. Bevin said the campaign was seeking to corroborate alleged incidents such as voting machines that didn't work properly, and he criticized Ms. Grimes for calling the race. Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin was deeply unpopular and other GOP officeholders did fairly well in the state, home to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Neither Bevin nor Trump conceded the loss. Trump won the state by 30 points in the 2016 election. "We know that there are reports of people having been turned away, incorrectly turned away from various voting booths around the state", Gov. Bevin said. Kentucky voters reelected incumbent Republicans as auditor, treasurer, and agriculture commissioner.

Whatever magic Bevin had in 2015, it had worn off by Tuesday night's election, as Bevin appears to have been narrowly defeated by the young, charismatic Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear. He said the budget he submits to lawmakers early next year will focus on education, health care and infrastructure.

He promised a quick follow-through on some key campaign pledges.

A Vietnam veteran, retired state worker and former journalist, Jennings described the president as unfit for office and a threat to democracy.

As of Wednesday morning, no official recount has yet been initiated in Kentucky.

With 100% of precincts reporting, Beshear edged out Bevin 49.2% to 48.8%, with a difference of 5,150 votes between the two. A recanvass confirmed that margin.

Bevin called it a "close, close race" and said he wasn't conceding "by any stretch".

But the gap is much larger this time.

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"I did support Bevin and it looks like he's not going to get there or as it looks so far".

In 2015, Bevin's opponent in the Republican Primary James Comer requested a recanvass of the contest that Bevin won by 83 votes, producing no change in vote totals. Republicans continued to bleed support among suburban voters but they managed to beat back a spirited and well-funded challenge in MS while holding on to most statewide offices in Kentucky, allowing them to argue that Bevin was a uniquely flawed candidate.

But the governor's race was the only statewide race Republicans fumbled on Tuesday.

"Governor-elect Beshear is entitled to the democratic legitimacy that comes with loser's consent", GOP state Rep. Jason Nemes wrote on social media.

Monday night, Donald Trump held a rally and one of his themes was begging Kentucky voters to re-elect Bevin. This is the third election in a row in which Democrats made significant gains since Trump was elected.

But the combative Bevin struggled to overcome some self-inflicted wounds, highlighted by a running feud with teachers who opposed his efforts to revamp the state's woefully underfunded public pension systems. Trump said at his Kentucky rally Monday night, imploring Kentucky voters to go to the polls for Bevin.

Targoz reported that its panel of just 401 likely voters gave Beshear a 19-point advantage.

Meanwhile, Kentucky Republicans largely beat their Democratic challengers in other state elections Tuesday-including capturing the attorney general's seat for the first time in decades. Members from both parties are permitted to be present during the re-canvassing.

Locally, Bevin won Boone County with 23,000 votes (56%) to Beshear's 16,947 votes.

  • Sonia Alvarado