The Bottom Line: Bevin concedes governor’s race to Beshear

By Jacqueline Pitts, The Bottom Line

Matt Bevin, left, and Andy Beshear

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin held a press conference Thursday to concede the 2019 governor’s race after asking for a recanvass of the election results where only around 5,000 votes separated him and governor-elect Andy Beshear.

Bevin held the press conference to announce his decision as the recanvass of the election results took place across the state on Thursday.

In his remarks, Bevin touted the work of his administration including funding for pensions, cutting red tape and growth in economic development in Kentucky seen during his four years in office.

He stated he would like to see a bipartisan transition and see many of the people in his administration stay in their positions as Beshear comes into office, noting he kept many people in roles regardless of party registration when he came into office.

Bevin wrapped up his press conference thanking those who worked with him over the last four years and were willing to serve Kentucky. He also stated he truly wishes the best for Andy Beshear and hopes to see continued success for the state as Beshear and other new statewide officials take office in the coming weeks.

Democratic governor-elect Beshear will be sworn in as Kentucky’s 64th governor on Dec. 10.

Statewide Recanvass Results

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, Kentucky’s chief election official, announced that a statewide recanvass of the votes in the 2019 General Election for Governor/Lieutenant Governor did not change the results of the election.

Andy Beshear/Jacqueline Coleman received 5,136 more votes than Matt Bevin/Ralph Alvarado in the 2019 Gubernatorial Election.

Pursuant to a request from Bevin, each of Kentucky’s 120 county boards of elections convened at 9 a.m. Thursday to recheck and recanvass all voting machines. The results were certified to the Secretary of State’s office.

“I’m grateful to our county boards of elections for their efforts to ensure confidence in the General Election results,” said Grimes.

Secretary of State-elect Michael Adams joined Grimes in her office for the recanvass and said, “I want to reassure all Kentuckians that this process is being done by the book.”

County-by-county results of the recanvass is available on the Secretary of State’s website.

The State Board of Elections will meet Thursday, Nov. 21 at 10 a.m. ET for the certification of vote totals. All vote totals remain unofficial until certified by the State Board of Elections.

The following statement is from House Democratic Floor Leader Rocky Adkins, Caucus Chair Derrick Graham and Caucus Whip Joni Jenkins and is in response to the recanvass:

“The House Democratic Caucus congratulates Governor-elect Andy Beshear, Lt. Governor-elect Jacqueline Coleman and the other constitutional office winners today following the recanvass of the Nov. 5th election. We look forward to working with these elected officials in the years ahead as we build a stronger commonwealth.  It’s time to get to work.”

Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, said regarding Bevin’s decision to concede the Kentucky Governor’s race:

“Today’s announcement by Governor Bevin to concede the Kentucky Governor’s race signals that this is the moment where politics ends and policy discussions begin. We in the Senate Majority appreciate many of the things that the Governor did for the commonwealth during his tenure. We have seen fiscally responsible budgets, unprecedented economic growth, crucial improvements to our state parks, long overdue contributions to our pension systems and much more. I look forward to working with Governor-elect Beshear to build upon the progress Kentucky has made over the past four years.”

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles issued the following statement regarding Gov. Bevin’s press conference earlier Thursday.

“I would like to thank Governor Matt Bevin for his service to the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and for his commitment to a smooth transition for the incoming administration,” Quarles said. “Over the course of the past four years, the Bevin administration and the General Assembly have worked hard to move our state in a positive direction. From creating tens of thousands of new jobs to dramatically increasing exports, we will look back on this era as one of positive economic expansion. It takes courage to put your name on the ballot, and I applaud anyone who decides to be a man or woman in the arena.

“It’s no secret that this was a hard-fought election. I am reminded of a passage from the famous poem In Kentucky by Kentucky author, judge and legislator J.H. Mulligan:

The song birds are the sweetest
In Kentucky;
The thoroughbreds are fleetest
In Kentucky;
Mountains tower proudest,
Thunders peal the loudest,
The landscape is the grandest-
And politics—the damnedest
In Kentucky.


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