UPDATE | Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin concedes after recanvass

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WSAZ/AP) -- UPDATE 11/14/19 @ 8:58 p.m.
Gov.-elect Andy Beshear says it’s time for Kentuckians to come together, now that his tough race against Republican Gov. Matt Bevin has concluded.

Democrat Andy Beshear, the outgoing attorney general, defeated Republican Gov. Matt Bevin in Kentucky's gubernatorial race by a margin of less than one percent.

Beshear thanked Bevin for his promise to ensure a smooth transition after the incumbent governor conceded to his arch rival Thursday.

Beshear said he’s ready to help build the “next chapter” of Kentucky’s future. He mentioned public education, health care, jobs and pensions as core issues.

The Democratic governor-elect spoke at the headquarters of the Kentucky Education Association. Beshear received strong campaign support from teachers, who rallied against pension and education proposals backed by Bevin.

The president of the Kentucky Education Association, Eddie Campbell, said in a statement Thursday:

"This victory should serve notice to any politician, that attacking teachers who educate our children and serve our communities is a losing proposition. It is our hope that legislators will also see the value in working with educators to find solutions that make our schools better and our profession stronger.

"Educators, their families, their friends and those in our communities supported governor-elect Beshear because he champions public education and will work to raise it up."

"Matt Bevin spawned this educator uprising. And we thank him for that. He woke up educators and our communities with his attacks on teacher's personally, and public education in general, and he paid the ultimate price at the polls.

"This election isn't the end of educator activism in Kentucky. It's just the beginning. Educators look forward to working hand-in-hand with Governor Beshear to ensure public education is the ultimate priority in moving Kentucky toward a brighter future for our children and our communities."



UPDATE 11/14/19 @ 2:32 p.m.
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin conceded Thursday in a press conference following a statewide recanvass of the results in the governor's race.

The incumbent said he will not contest the recanvass results, and it will be a smooth transition between administrations.

"I truly wish the attorney general well as the next governor of this state," said Bevin. "I truly want the best for Andy Beshear as he moves forward. I genuinely want him to be successful. I want this state to be successful."

Bevin also thanked his staff for their service and wished other newly-elected officials the best of luck.

Democrat Governor-elect Andy Beshear defeated the Republican opponent on election night by roughly 5,000 votes or a margin of less than one percent.

UPDATE 11/14/19 @ 2:03 p.m.
At Gov. Matt Bevin's request, every county across Kentucky is conducting a recanvass of the results in the race of Kentucky governor Thursday.

The Republican incumbent lost in the general election to Democrat Andy Beshear, the outgoing state attorney general, by roughly 5,000 votes or a margin of less than one percent.

The results are still coming in, but the Boyd County Board of Elections read through every number and checked every machine Thursday morning. At the end of the county's recanvass, County Clerk Debbie Jones said the results were no different from the outcome on Nov. 5.

Bevin said he knows a change in the outcome is unlikely, but he's focused on the bigger picture: verifying the integrity of the election.

That sentiment did not sit well with Jones who said county clerks go above and beyond to make sure each vote is counted accurately.

"You get a feel for how the election process is over the years, and you understand the machines, you understand the election process, and how elections are," said Jones. "All Kentucky clerks use the same machines. It's a statement thrown out there that there's not a lot of validity to it."

Gov. Bevin is planning to have a press conference at 2:15 p.m. Thursday. We will carry it live on the WSAZ app and WSAZ.com.

UPDATE 11/14/19 @ 6:30 a.m.
County clerks across Kentucky will begin a recanvass of the results in the race of Kentucky governor Thursday morning.

As the total stands, Governor-elect Andy Beshear has a roughly 5,000 vote lead over current Governor Matt Bevin.

Governor Bevin said he knows a change in the outcome is unlikely, but he's focused on the bigger picture, verifying the integrity of the election.

He and even a group of concerned voters voiced concerns about irregularities and potential fraud over the past week.

Most of the concerns are not things that are looked at during a recanvass -- things like voter logs and if the number of ballots cast align with the physical amounts of ballots in hand.

Meanwhile, Bevin said his team is working with Beshear's transition team.

"We are also working to make sure there is integrity in the transition process from one governor to the next because there are very good odds he could be the next governor. Right now, he is numerically ahead and would seemingly be the next governor and if that is collaborated and held up through this process, I will be his number one cheerleader because we want this state to move forward. So, it is absolutely about the integrity of the process more than anything else," said Governor Bevin.

As for what's next for current Governor Matt Bevin if the outcome doesn't change, he says he doesn't know yet.

WSAZ will have a crew at the recanvassing Thursday.

Keep checking the WSAZ app for the latest information.


UPDATE 11/9/19 @ 4:50 p.m.
The Kentucky Senate's top leader says Republican Gov. Matt Bevin should concede to Democrat Andy Beshear if a recanvass doesn't significantly alter the vote count from Tuesday.

Senate President Robert Stivers said Friday that Bevin's request for a recanvass of election results is appropriate. But without a significant change, the Republican lawmaker said it would be appropriate for Bevin to conclude "the election is over."

With 100% of precincts reporting, Beshear led by a little over 5,000 votes out of more than 1.4 million counted.

The recanvass is set for Nov. 14 to verify the vote count.

Bevin's recourse after that would be to contest the election, putting the outcome in lawmakers' hands. Stivers said it would be a "very high bar" for Bevin to have any chance of prevailing.



UPDATE 11/6/19 @ 5:40 p.m.
Republican Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin had a news conference Wednesday to publicly announce his reasons for requesting a recanvass. The Republican lost the gubernatorial election to Democrat Andy Beshear by a margin of less than 1 percent.

NBC and other news outlets named Beshear, the state's outgoing attorney general, the projected winner Tuesday evening. However, the current Republican governor said he would not concede at this point. The Associated Press determined the race was too close to call with Beshear winning by a little more than 5,000 votes.

"We simply want to ensure that there is integrity in the process," Bevin said. "We want this process to move forward expeditiously. We want it to be something that everyone can have confidence in."

Bevin filed for a recanvass Wednesday with the secretary of state's office, citing "a number of significant irregularities."

During the press conference, the governor said his campaign is working to get affidavits and other documents "that will help us to get a better understanding of what did or did not happen." However, he said that will not happen until after the recanvass process.

Bevin claimed thousands of absentee ballots were illegally counted. He also said there are reports of voters being turned away from polling locations.

The governor also said a number of machines in Jefferson County did not work probably, and it's unclear if the ballots were probably scanned.

"We want the people of Kentucky to have absolute confidence that their votes were counted as they should have been counted, that the law was followed, and that regardless of whether they vote this side of the aisle or that side of the aisle, that they can always have confidence that the electoral process works," Bevin said.

He also called the secretary of state's office "corrupt" and said Secretary Alison Lungergan Grimes "jumped the gun" and "interjected" herself into the election by declaring Beshear as the winner.

"It was an interesting choice of places for her to go while the roll was being tallied, the votes were being tallied," Bevin said. "And this is from a woman who -- with all due respect to her -- is not exactly rock solid as it comes to following the letter of the law. She's currently under investigation for misuse of voter files herself. Her father has already been convicted of multiple, I think 10 different, federal charges related to election fraud specific to her race. He's going to be sentenced and probably spend significant portions of, if not the rest of his life, in prison. So this is a family and an office that's been very corrupt."

Bevin never mentioned Andy Beshear by name, only referring to him as "the attorney general."

Wednesday morning, Beshear had a press conference of his own.

"I believe that Gov. Bevin, after deciding whatever his options are or what he's going to do, will help in that transition," Beshear said. "We have seen it from governors of all different parties, and I believe he's going to do the right thing and make sure that we are ready to go on day one."

To Beshear, the race is over. He said this is no longer about politics, and the election ended Tuesday night.

Beshear also said he has not spoken with Gov. Bevin yet, and Bevin echoed that in his evening press conference.

"I have not spoken with the attorney general," Bevin said. "I got his voicemail. I sent him a text. I have not heard back from him."

Bevin did, however, say Beshear was "wise" to prepare for office.

"He should be putting together a transition team and he should be having conversations with the expectation that if he is the person with the most votes at the end of this, that in fact, he should be ready to take the responsibility of being governor. At the very same time, we have a responsibility to ensure that the integrity of the process is such that if at the end of it we have the most votes, we are in a position to be able to continue forward with governance. It's just that simple."

Every county will conduct the recanvass at 9 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 14 and will file their reports with the secretary of state's office.



UPDATE 11/6/19 @ 2:42 p.m.
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin is formally requesting a recanvass after losing the gubernatorial election by a margin of less than 1 percent.

"With last night’s election too close to call and multiple reports of voting irregularities, Gov. Matt Bevin’s campaign is formally requesting an official recanvass," Bevin's campaign said in a statement Wednesday afternoon.

NBC and other news outlets named Democrat Andy Beshear, the state's outgoing attorney general, the projected winner Tuesday evening. However, the current Republican governor said he would not concede at this point.

Bevin Campaign Manager Davis Paine said, “The people of Kentucky deserve a fair and honest election. With reports of irregularities, we are exercising the right to ensure that every lawful vote was counted.”

During a press conference Wednesday morning, Beshear said he has not spoken with Gov. Bevin yet. To Beshear, the race is over. He said this is no longer about politics, and the election ended Tuesday night. Beshear also said he and his campaign staff members have not heard about any irregularities and do not know what the governor is referencing.

Bevin is planning to have a press conference at 5 p.m. Wednesday in Frankfort.



UPDATE 11/6/19 @ 12:15 p.m.
Andy Beshear, the projected winner in Kentucky's gubernatorial race, had a press conference Wednesday morning following the election.

The Democrat and outgoing attorney general defeated the incumbent, Republican Gov. Matt Bevin, by a margin of less than one percent Tuesday night. NBC News and other news outlets called Beshear as the projected winner. The Associated Press determined the race was too close to call.

Gov. Bevin said he is not conceding, but that did not shake Beshear's apparent confidence Wednesday.

"I believe that Gov. Bevin, after deciding whatever his options are or what he's going to do, will help in that transition," Beshear said. "We have seen it from governors of all different parties, and I believe he's going to do the right thing and make sure that we are ready to go on day one."

Public educators stood behind Beshear as he made his first public remarks since declaring victory in Louisville on election night.

During the press conference, Beshear said he has not spoken with Gov. Bevin yet. To Beshear, the race is over. He said this is no longer about politics, and the election ended Tuesday night.

However, Bevin has refused to admit defeat, and said "irregularities" were reported. Beshear responded to that claim Wednesday, saying he and his campaign staff members have not heard about any irregularities and do not know what the governor is talking about.

Gov. Bevin can now request a recanvass or recount. He has until Nov. 12 to request the recanvass.

ORIGINAL STORY 11/5/19
Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear will be Kentucky’s next governor after defeating his rival and Republican challenger, outgoing Gov. Matt Bevin.

NBC News called Beshear as the projected winner. The Associated Press determined the race was too close to call, and Gov. Bevin told the crowd he is not conceding.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Beshear has a lead of 4,658 votes out of more than 1.4 million counted, or a margin of 0.3 percentage points.

According to the Associated Press, there is no mandatory recount law in Kentucky. Bevin may request counties recanvass their results, which is not a recount, but rather a check of the vote count to ensure the results were added correctly. Bevin would need to seek and win a court's approval for a recount, the process for which would be dictated by the court.

Beshear defeated the incumbent, as well as Libertarian John Hicks.

When the race was called Tuesday evening, Beshear had 49.2 percent of the votes and Bevin had 48.8 percent of the votes. Hicks had two percent.

The AG ran alongside Jacqueline Coleman who will now serve as Kentucky’s lieutenant governor.

Beshear said, as governor, he would demand that public universities lower tuition as part of increased state support. He also announced plans to expand gaming in the Commonwealth.

During a debate against Bevin in October, Beshear touted his plan to provide a $2,000 across-the-board pay raise for public school teachers.

Click here to read more about the governor-elect’s plans on his campaign website.

It was an up-to-the-minute showdown, as poll after poll put Bevin and Beshear in a dead heat ahead of election night. A Mason-Dixon Kentucky Poll in October showed both candidates as having 46 percent of the vote. Hicks had one percent, and seven percent of voters were undecided.

Throughout the campaign, Beshear and Bevin squared off in several public forums, including a heated debate at the University of Kentucky. They also went head-to-head at an hour-long debate in Paducah, and clashed on several issues, including education and health care policies, during a forum in Louisville.

As attorney general, Beshear’s office secured federal funding for its Sexual Assault Cold Case Unit.

In late October, Beshear announced two separate drug-related settlements totaling nearly $40 million.

Beshear was Kentucky’s 50th attorney general will be the state’s 63rd governor.


Outgoing Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear defeated incumbent Matt Bevin in the 2019 November election.
Andy Beshear took the stage Tuesday evening to deliver a victory speech after defeating Gov. Matt Bevin in the gubernatorial race by a margin of less than one percent. (Source: WSAZ)
Andy Beshear, the projected winner in Kentucky's gubernatorial race, had a press conference Wednesday morning following the election. (Source: WSAZ)