|Beshear claims narrow victory in gov.’s race
|By Tom Marshall
Senior Advocate writer
Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear appears to have defeated incumbent Republican Matt Bevin Tuesday in the governor’s race, but Republicans swept the rest of the ballot.
The Associated Press, however, had not called the governor’s race as of Wednesday morning. They deem it too close to call.
The Democratic party ticket of Andy Beshear/Jacqueline Coleman appear to have captured a slim victory with 709,577 votes statewide compared to the Bevin/Ralph Alvarado ticket with 704,388 votes with 100 percent of the precincts reporting, according to the unofficial results available from the State Board of Elections Wednesday morning. That’s a difference of 5,189 or less than .4 percentage points. Libertarian John Hicks received 28,425.
The figures have to be certified by the state to become official.
Bevin did not concede and hinted with the media that there may have been voting irregularities.
Bevin has not specified with media outlets whether he will challenge the results of the race, but he has 30 days after the results are certified by the Board of Elections to decide whether to formally contest the results.
There is no mandatory recount law in Kentucky.
Bevin may request counties conduct a recanvass of voting machines to ensure the results were added correctly. Bevin would need court approval for a formal recount and would have to pay the cost of a recount.
It was a heavily contested race. President Donald Trump campaigned for Bevin in Lexington just a day before the election. Beshear had a strong showing in urban areas such as Jefferson, Fayette, Warren, Boone and Kenton counties, which provided a cushion that offset losses in rural areas of the state, according to media reports.
Bevin carried Montgomery County with 4,745 votes compared to 3,934 for Beshear. Libertarian John Hicks received 144. There were 12 write-in votes.
In the race for Secretary of State, Republican Michael G. Adams received 746,275 votes statewide while Democrat Heather French Henry received 681,763.
In Montgomery County, Adams received 5,023 votes compared to Henry’s 3,753.
Statewide, Republican candidate Daniel Cameron received 822,932 votes for Attorney General compared to Democrat Gregory D. Stumbo’s 602,004.
Montgomery County voters also preferred Cameron, who received 5,410 votes compared to Stumbo’s 3,328.
Republican Mike Harmon outlasted Democrat Sheri Donahue and Libertarian Kyle Hugenberg statewide in the race of Auditor of Public Accounts. Harmon received 779,327 votes compared to 574,561 for Donahue and 46,549 for Hugenberg.
In Montgomery County, Harmon received 5,281 while Donahue netted 3,108 and Hugenberg 213.
Republican Allison Ball was the winner over Democrat Michael Bowman in the race for State Treasurer. Statewide, Ball received 855,720 votes compared to Bowman’s 555,013.
Montgomery County voters gave Ball 5,660 votes compared to Bowman’s 2,983.
In the statewide race for Commissioner of Agriculture, Republican Ryan Quarles received 820,971 votes while Democrat Robert Haley Conway netted 544,872. Libertarian Josh Gilpin received 44,584.
Montgomery Countians gave Quarles 5,562 votes compared to 2,885 for Conway and 207 for Gilpin.
Positions for Justice of the Peace for the 1st and 3rd Magisterial Districts appeared on the ballot, but no one filed for the positions and there was no one registered to receive write-in votes.
County Clerk Chris Cockrell said the county’s 43.1 percent turnout was better than he expected. He had predicted a turnout of between 30 and 35 percent, which would have been in the same range as the last gubernatorial election.
“That’s a county clerk’s dream is to have a turnout like this,” Cockrell told the Advocate.
Statewide turnout was 42.16 percent with 1,455,161 votes cast. Montgomery Countians cast 8,899 votes.
The turnout was so strong that Cockrell said he had to send sheriff’s deputies to its vendor in Lexington early in the day to get extra paper ballots.
Each ballot has bar codes as a security measure, which prevent ballots from being copied for use, he said.
Cockrell said the cooperation between the Board of Elections, his office and the precinct workers prevented this from being a problem.
“Luckily, because we work together we saw it early on,” he said.
No voting irregularities were reported.