November 6, 2019 3:07pm
GLI’s 2019 Post-Election Analysis and Results
More than 1.4 million Kentuckians cast ballots in yesterday’s statewide elections for Governor and the Commonwealth’s other constitutional officers. Republicans took or retained control of five offices: Attorney General, Secretary of State, Treasurer, Auditor, and Agriculture Commissioner. As of Wednesday afternoon, the race for Governor remains too close to call for media outlets like the Associated Press, though unofficial results show Democrat Andy Beshear leading incumbent Republican Governor Matt Bevin by 5,189 votes with 100 percent of counties reporting.
Beshear carried traditional Democratic strongholds such as Jefferson and Fayette counties by significant margins – 67-32 percent and 66-33 percent, respectively. Jefferson alone gave him an almost 100,000 vote boost over Bevin. For context, in 2015, Democrat Jack Conway won Jefferson by less than 40,000 votes. Beshear also carried several key counties won by Bevin in 2015, including Kenton and Campbell counties in Northern Kentucky, Warren County in Western Kentucky, and several rural counties in Eastern Kentucky.
Governor Bevin did not concede the race on Tuesday night. This afternoon, he requested a recanvassing, which the Secretary of State’s office has stated will be conducted November 14. A recanvassing is different from a recount and involves a review of absentee ballots and precinct reports. The Governor could also contest results with the General Assembly, which would initiate a complex legislative process whereby lawmakers review the results and other relevant information and/or allegations to make a final determination on the winner of the election. A contested election for a state House seat took place this year, but the last time Kentucky saw a contested election for Governor was in 1899.
If current results hold, Beshear and Lieutenant Governor candidate Jacqueline Coleman will be sworn into office on December 10, 2019. In a press conference this morning, Beshear stated he intends to begin work on transition efforts immediately and listed a series of priorities, including rescinding the Bevin administration’s Medicaid waiver and restoring voting rights to individuals with non-violent felonies on their record. He also noted that he would focus on preparing a budget proposal to submit to the legislature early next year.
Down the ballot, Republican Daniel Cameron flipped the Attorney General’s office from blue to red, defeating former House Speaker and former Attorney General Greg Stumbo. Republicans also flipped the Secretary of State’s office with Michael Adams defeating Heather French Henry. Three incumbent Republicans won second terms: Treasurer Allison Ball, Auditor Mike Harmon, and Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles.
Other notable elections in Kentucky on Tuesday night included races to fill two vacancies in the state House of Representatives. Republican Samara Heavrin defeated Democrat Becky Miller to retain GOP control over the District 18 seat, which covers Hardin and Grayson counties. Louisville Metro Caucus member Tim Moore resigned from District 18 in September. In Northern Kentucky, Republican Kim Banta won the District 63 seat, previously held by GOP Representative Diane St. Onge, who retired this summer. The rest of the House and half of the Senate will be up for election in 2020. In the meantime, Republicans maintain supermajorities in both chambers. There was also a race in Western Kentucky for the 1st State Supreme Court District. Christopher Shea Nickell defeated State Senator Whitney Westerfield.
Throughout the 2019 election cycle, GLI worked diligently to keep members of the Greater Louisville business community fully informed and prepared for election day. Last month, we published responses from our 2019 Candidate Questionnaire, and we also released a comprehensive election day guide. While GLI does not endorse candidates for elected office, we strongly encourage members of the business community to be actively engaged in the electoral process.
Full (unofficial) election results below. Visit the Kentucky State Board of Elections website for more information.
Governor and Lt. Governor
Andy Beshear and Jacqueline Coleman (D): 49.19%
Matt Bevin and Ralph Alvarado (R): 48.83%
John Hicks and Ann Cormican (L): 1.97%
Greg Stumbo (D): 42.25%
Daniel Cameron (R): 57.75%
Secretary of State
Heather French Henry (D): 47.74%
Michael Adams (R): 52.26%
Michael Bowman (D): 39.34%
Allison Ball (R): 60.66%
Sheri Donahue (D): 41.03%
Mike Harmon (R): 55.65%
Kyle Hugenberg (L): 3.32%
Commissioner of Agriculture
Robert Conway (D): 38.63%
Ryan Quarles (R): 58.21%
Josh Gilpin (L): 3.16%