Governor Matt Bevin at Fancy Farm 2019. Consolation prize of losing - no more Picnic appearances.
Everyone in America now knows that Trump groupie Governor Matt Bevin lost Tuesday's election to former governor's son and now Governor-Elect Andy Beshear. Everyone, that is, except Governor Matt Bevin.
Despite being the least popular governor in America, Bevin came within 5000 + votes of keeping his seat. Rural areas in the eastern and western ends of the state voted strongly for the incumbent. But in the end, urban areas turned the tide in favor of the man who has been a thorn in his side his whole term. To see how each county voted, follow the jump below to the New York Times Interactive Map.
Attorney General Andy Beshear, shown at right, fought Governor Bevin over pensions, teacher sick out records, university board members, opioid contracts and executive orders. Few months went by without a lawsuit being filed by either the Governor or the Attorney General. (The two combatants won't be missed by Franklin Circuit Court, the state government jurisdiction they have haunted like Christmas Carol ghosts for the last four years.)
Bevin is the only Republican on the statewide ballot not to win his race. Every Democrat below Beshear on the ballot went down in defeat. Those losses belie Bevin's peevish claim of vote tampering. Kentucky voters may like the Republican message. They just didn't like the Republican flag bearer. The Governor made it his goal to insult everyone around him, even Lieutenant Governor Hampton who made her own trip to Franklin Circuit Court to contest his firing a member of her staff. Dumping her from the ticket and picking up Hispanic Representative Ralph Alvarado wasn't enough to save his candidacy
Even the appearance of the head of the national Republican Party (no, not Mitch McConnell) in Lexington on Monday evening was enough to save him. President Trump exhorted the crowd by making a defeat for Bevin a defeat for the President. "You can't let that happen to me!"
At this writing, Bevin is claiming hordes voted by absentee ballot, a truly monumental accomplishment considering Kentucky's restrictive absentee ballot laws. He has asked for a recanvass, a review of the numbers submitted to the state by county clerks. Outgoing Secretary of State Grimes announced the recanvass will take place on November 14th.Traditionally, the procedure results in a few votes traded back and forth between candidates. There is no historical precedent for finding over 5000 discrepancies.
There is little hope that over 5000 votes will be found in the couch cushions of the Commonwealth. But Bevin will go out the way he came in.