GOP Governor Refuses to Concede in Kentucky

Democrat has lead of 5K votes
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 6, 2019 1:52 AM CST
Democrat Claims Victory in Kentucky Governor's Race
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, right, with his wife Glenna, speaks to supporters gathered at the republican party celebration event in Louisville, Ky., Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019.   (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

Democrat Andy Beshear claimed victory over incumbent Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin with a lead of a few thousand votes Tuesday night, although the Republican refused to concede. With 100% of precincts reporting, Beshear, the state's attorney general, has a lead of around 5,000 votes, but Bevin said there had been "irregularities" in the voting process, Politico reports. "What they are exactly, how many, which ones, and what effect, if any, they have will be determined according to law," Bevin said. If the Democratic win is confirmed, it will be seen as an embarrassment for President Trump, who appeared at a rally in Kentucky on Monday night. "If you lose, they are going to say Trump suffered the greatest defeat in the history of the world," he told the crowd. "You can't let that happen to me!"

In a tweet Tuesday night, Trump hailed the victories of five other GOP candidates and said Bevin had picked up 15 points, but "perhaps not enough." Analysts say the apparent loss for Bevin, who strongly condemned the impeachment inquiry, points to possible trouble for the GOP in 2020. "It’s a definite shot across the bow, even though Republicans picked up the state attorney general position in Kentucky," former RNC chairman Michael Steele tells the Washington Post. "But losing the governorship is a smack at both Mitch McConnell and the president, sending up a cautionary note." In Mississippi, meanwhile, Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves defeated Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood and will succeed term-limited Republican Gov. Phil Bryant, the AP reports. Trump and Mike Pence both traveled to the state in recent days. (More Kentucky stories.)

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