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Politics Tight Kentucky Race Sparks Fight

19:45  06 november  2019
19:45  06 november  2019 Source:   online.wsj.com

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The contentious gubernatorial election in Kentucky extended into Wednesday morning as Republican Gov. Matt Bevin refused to concede to Democrat Andy Beshear, who led the incumbent by several thousand votes Tuesday evening.

a group of people posing for the camera: Democrat Andy Beshear declared victory in the Kentucky governor’s race Tuesday night.© Bryan Woolston/Associated Press Democrat Andy Beshear declared victory in the Kentucky governor’s race Tuesday night.

The next steps are still to be determined following the narrow outcome — one of three governors’ races Tuesday seen as a test of voter sentiment ahead of the 2020 presidential election.

With 100% of the counties reporting results after 11 p.m. Tuesday, Mr. Beshear captured 709,577 votes, besting Mr. Bevin by 5,189 votes, according to unofficial results from the Kentucky Board of Elections. The race was too close to call, according to the Associated Press.

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Mr. Beshear, the state’s attorney general, claimed victory in front of a crowd of supporters Tuesday evening. But Mr. Bevin told his supporters he wouldn’t concede.

“Would it be a Bevin race if it wasn’t a squeaker?” said Mr. Bevin, who narrowly won the 2015 Republican primary. “This is a close, close race. We are not conceding this race by any stretch.”

Mr. Beshear, the son of the state’s most recent Democratic governor, Steve Beshear, said in his victory speech that he hadn’t spoken with Mr. Bevin.

Mr. Beshear said he expected that Mr. Bevin “will honor the election that was held tonight, that he will help us make this transition.” He added, “We will be ready for that first day in office, and I look forward to it.”

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governor- race - sparks - fight -11573051470?mod=hp_lead_pos6. In the US? The question could also be asked, “What is the error rate for races at the top of the ballot compared to races Usually the question only arises in a tight election. Case in point, Kentucky being cited as part of the question

Mr. Bevin can pursue several options under state election laws to review the results. He has one week to request a recanvass, or review of the vote totals in each county. He has 10 days to ask for a recount, which involves inspecting ballots physically, but he would have to pay for it. And he has 30 days after the State Board of Elections certifies the results to contest them formally, a process that would be decided by a board formed by the state House and Senate.

President Trump, who won Kentucky by 30 points in 2016 and heavily backed Mr. Bevin, pushed for the incumbent’s victory with a rally in the state ahead of the election and a barrage of tweets voicing his support. But, as he acknowledged in a tweet late Tuesday, his efforts didn’t appear to be enough to secure a victory for the Republican.

Meanwhile, Kentucky Republicans largely beat their Democratic challengers in other state elections Tuesday — including capturing the attorney general’s seat for the first time in decades. Republican Daniel Cameron will become the first African-American to hold that office in the state. Former elections board member Michael Adams, a Republican, was elected as Kentucky’s next secretary of state.

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Mr. Bevin, a 52-year-old former businessman who never held elected office before winning in 2015, ran as a staunch Trump ally, often invoking national issues including abortion, immigration and the impeachment inquiry.

Mr. Beshear, 41, focused on what he says are the issues Kentuckians care most about: education, health care, jobs and the state’s troubled pension system.

Democrats viewed their gains Tuesday as bolstering the party’s sense that it held an advantage on health care in 2020. Mr. Beshear had campaigned heavily on rolling back a Medicaid work requirement that the governor had backed. A state estimate projected 95,000 people would lose Medicaid coverage under the work rules, which were stalled by a lawsuit.

Mr. Bevin had said he would end Medicaid expansion in the state if the courts blocked the mandate. Mr. Beshear said Tuesday night that he would rescind the work requirements — a move that could end the lawsuit.

While Mr. Bevin held an advantage as a GOP incumbent in a state that Republicans have come to dominate, Mr. Bevin’s tenure at times has been rocky. Last year, he called teachers who opposed plans to overhaul the pension system “selfish” and “ignorant,” and tangled with state lawmakers over the issue. He was rated the most unpopular governor in the U.S. earlier this year in a survey by polling firm Morning Consult. Mr. Bevin dismissed the poll, saying it wasn’t credible.

In his victory speech Tuesday night, Mr. Beshear specifically thanked the state’s teachers for their support.

“To our educators: Your courage to stand up and fight against all the bullying and name-calling helped galvanize our state,” he said.

“To our educators,” Mr. Beshear added, echoing comments he said were made by his running mate, Jacqueline Coleman, “this is your victory.”

Write to Jennifer Calfas at Jennifer.Calfas@wsj.com and Arian Campo-Flores at arian.campo-flores@wsj.com

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