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Governor's race in 2019 brings challengers to incumbent Bevin
Governor Matt Bevin has challengers in his race for a second term.

2019 is an unusual election year in Kentucky. There are no national offices on the ballot - no president, no congressional offices, no races that send a winner to Washington. There are no local races. No county judges, sheriffs, mayors, city council or magistrates. No local races that bring out friends and families of candidates.

It's a year that elected representatives in the Kentucky House and Senate can run without giving up their positions.

It's a year for candidates with great name recognition and/or big families. It's a year with guaranteed low voter turnout.

In most races, with multiple candidates running for their party's nomination, there will be primaries on both sides of the aisle. The primary will be held Tuesday May 21, 2019.

If we know the campaign website, we link to it. For hometowns smaller than Lexington and Louisville, we listed candidates' home counties.


It should come as no surprise that the top of the tickets will get the most attention. With an incumbent in the governor's office, this election will be in large part a critique of Governor Matt Bevin's leadership. During Bevin's term, he's been able to pass legislation long desired by the Republican Party. Right to work which makes union membership less attractive and repeal of prevailing wage came immediately upon the take over of the Legislature by the GOP. School choice, aka charter schools, were passed, though funding remains elusive.

The biggest fight so far has been over state pensions. The Governor raised the ire of teachers, state employees and retirees, but their opposition was not enough to put Kentucky in the blue category in the 2018 election.

The Democratic primary on Tuesday May 21st will feature some familiar names in the top spots. In alphabetical order, there are four slates running to face the Republican candidate on November 5th:

On the Republican side, Governor Matt Bevin is running for a second term. He has three challengers. In alphabetical order:

  • Governor Matthew G. Bevin (Louisville) and Rep. Ralph A. Alvarado (Winchester in Clark County) https://www.mattbevin.com/
  • Rep. Robert Goforth, shown at left, (East Bernstadt in Laurel County) and Lawrence County Attorney Michael T. Hogan (Louisa in Lawrence County) photo courtesy of LRC http://goforthforky.com/
  • Ike Lawrence (Lexington) and James Anthony Rose (Lexington)
  • William E. Woods (Corinth in Grant County) and Justin B. Miller (Florence in Boone County) https://mykentuckyfirst.org/william-e-woods

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