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Politics Beshear vs. Bevin: Kentucky governor's race could be decided by state legislature

08:05  07 november  2019
08:05  07 november  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

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  Kentucky governor looks for last-minute boost from Trump LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Republican Gov. Matt Bevin basked Monday in the campaign finale he craved — an election-eve appearance with President Donald Trump hours before voters settle Kentucky's closely watched governor's race between Bevin and Democrat Andy Beshear. The Monday evening rally at Rupp Arena reinforced one of Bevin's main campaign themes — his alliance with Trump, whose popularity surpasses the governor's in the state. Trump tweetedThe Monday evening rally at Rupp Arena reinforced one of Bevin's main campaign themes — his alliance with Trump, whose popularity surpasses the governor's in the state.

Senate president: Kentucky governor ' s race could be decided by state legislature . After Kentucky Gov. Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin is greeted by a poll worker as he arrived at Anchorage Presbyterian Church to vote. Bevin is fighting to hold the office against Democrat Andy Beshear .

Governor ». Andy Beshear Beshear . Dem. 49.2%. Matt Bevin Bevin . Rep. Source: Election results and race calls from The Associated Press. Precinct results from the Kentucky secretary of state . By Mike Andre, Aliza Aufrichtig, Matthew Bloch, Alastair Coote, Annie Daniel, Jasmine C. Lee, Rebecca

Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers threw another wrench into the state's razor-thin gubernatorial outcome late Tuesday night, saying that the legislature could decide the race.

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Andy Beshear , Kentucky ’ s Democratic state attorney general, is the “apparent winner” of the state ’ s Matt Bevin , according to NBC. The Associated Press has yet to call the race . Bevin , whose popularity has dropped severely among constituents, spent his campaign and tenure as governor

Trailing Andy Beshear by about 5,000 votes, Gov. Matt Bevin is calling for a recanvass of ballots next week. A showdown between lawmakers could Even so, Mr. Bevin has the potential to set in motion a challenge that could escalate into a showdown in the State Legislature , where lawmakers could

Stivers' comments came shortly after Gov. Matt Bevin refused to concede to Attorney General Andy Beshear, who led by roughly 5,100 votes when all the precincts were counted.

“There’s less than one-half of 1%, as I understand, separating the governor and the attorney general,” Stivers said. “We will follow the letter of the law and what various processes determine.”    

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Stivers, R-Manchester, said based on his staff’s research, the decision could come before the Republican-controlled state legislature.

Under state law, Bevin has 30 days to formally contest the outcome once it is certified by the State Board of Elections. Candidates typically ask for a re-canvass of voting machines and a recount first.

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The governor of Kentucky is not popular, even within his own party. But party ID and a friendship with the president may be enough for his re-election. The Kentucky State Capitol building is in Frankfort, Ky. Gov. Matt Bevin is by some polls the least popular governor in the United States .Credit Luke

A hotly contested governor ’ s race in Kentucky remained too close to call on Tuesday night, with the Democratic challenger, Andy Beshear , declaring While Bevin performed well in much of the state , in parts of Kentucky ’s largest city, Louisville, one could drive by dozens if not hundreds of “Stop Bevin

The last contested governor's race was the 1899 election of Democrat William Goebel.

Stivers said he thought Bevin’s speech declining to concede to Beshear was “appropriate.” He said believes most of the votes that went to Libertarian John Hicks, who received about 2% of the total vote, would have gone to Bevin and made him the clear winner.

A candidate can file a formal election contest with the state legislature, but it must be filed within 30 days of the last action by the state board of elections. The state board is scheduled to certify the results of the race for governor on Nov. 25 this year.

Under this contest, the candidate challenging the results must specify the grounds for the action, such as a violation of campaign finance rules or specific problems when it comes to how ballots were cast.

Such an election contest is covered under Section 90 of the state constitution, which addresses a "contest of election for Governor or Lieutenant Governor."

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The 2015 Kentucky gubernatorial election took place on November 3, 2015. Incumbent Democratic Governor Steve Beshear was not eligible to run for a third term due to term limits.

On the ballot: Governor • Lt. Gov • Attorney General • Secretary of State • State executive offices • Special state legislative • Supreme court • Appellate courts • Local judges • Municipal •. Gov. Matt Bevin (R), state Attorney General Andy Beshear (D), and John Hicks (L)

Section 90 states: "Contested elections for Governor and Lieutenant Governor shall be determined by both Houses of the General Assembly, according to such regulations as may be established by law."

Sam Marcosson, a constitutional law professor at the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law, told The Courier Journal that this language of the state Constitution suggests there must be procedure established by law for a review of a contested election to take place by the House and Senate.

“They can’t just make them up,” Marcosson said.

Further, he said, such a review would be extremely risky for lawmakers to undertake without clear reasons for a contested election.

“If the House and Senate were just to proceed on vague allegations without proof, that raises serious questions about disenfranchisement of the voters who voted for Attorney General Beshear,” Marcosson said. “It’s an extraordinary proposition to suggest that the General Assembly would take vague allegations of unspecified irregularities and call into question a gubernatorial election.”

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Read more: A recount in the Kentucky governor's race would be uncharted territory, but it's possible

Reach Phillip M. Bailey at pbailey@courier-journal.com or 502-582-4475.

Reach reporter Joe Sonka at jsonka@courierjournal.com or 502-582-4472 and follow him on Twitter at @joesonka. Support strong local journalism by subscribing today: courierjournal.com/subscribe.

This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Beshear vs. Bevin: Kentucky governor's race could be decided by state legislature

Sen. Rand Paul brushes aside GOP governor's likely defeat in Kentucky .
Sen. Rand Paul downplayed the implications of his home state of Kentucky apparently electing a Democratic governor earlier this week, declining to attribute incumbent Gov. Matt Bevin’s loss to his attempts to nationalize the race. © Susan Walsh/AP Photo Sen. Rand Paul (left) and President Donald Trump speak at a Kentucky campaign rally on Nov. 4, ahead of the state elections.

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