Republicans won four of the top five statewide offices Tuesday with the race for Kentucky governor too close to call nearly four hours after the polls closed.
Republican Gov. Matt Bevin and Attorney General Andy Beshear swapped the lead by a few percentage points throughout the night. Then the tight race took an unusual turn.
Shortly after 10 p.m., Gov. Matt Bevin spoke to the crowd at his gathering spot in Louisville and declined to concede the race. Instead, he said he hoped that all the correct policies will be followed to make sure every vote will be counted properly. He also said, without citing specifics, that he had heard of several voting irregularities that could impact the vote.
A few minutes later Beshear, also in Louisville, claimed victory thanking his family including his father, former Gov. Steve Beshear. He also thanked several Kentucky’s unions, including the teacher’s union, for supporting his campaign. A little while later, the celebratory balloons were dropped.
As of Wednesday morning the candidates where 5,333 votes apart in a race where 1.4 million ballots were cast. That is a .4 percentage point difference.
Secretary of State: Daniel Cameron, a 33-year-old corporate attorney and former counselor for Mitch McConnell has won the election to become Kentucky’s Attorney General.
At less than half the age of his Democratic opponent, Daniel Cameron will become the state’s first African-American to win state office at the top of the ticket.
Cameron defeated former Attorney General and House Speaker Greg Stumbo.
Auditor: Former legislator and Republican incumbent Mike Harmon has won reelection as Kentucky’s Auditor of Public Accounts.
Voters elected Harmon over Democrat Sheri Donahue and Libertarian Kyle Hugenberg to serve another four years as the state’s chief auditor.
Commissioner of Agriculture: Republican incumbent Ryan Quarles has won reelection as Kentucky’s Commissioner of Agriculture.
The former state representative staked much of his bid for reelection on his efforts to develop the Kentucky Proud program, which markets local farm products, and efforts to expand hemp farming in the state — a plank that appears to have resonated with Kentucky voters. He defeated challenger Robert Conway.
Treasurer: Republican Allison Ball defeated Democrat Michael Bowman.
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This story was updated at 10:20 a.m. Nov. 6 to reflect current vote tallies.