Kentucky attorney general Andy Beshear shocked the political world with a razor thin upset of incumbent Governor Matt Bevin in an election that saw all other Republicans win big. Beshear’s decision to stick to healthcare and jobs as main topics overwhelmed Bevin’s “I’m buddies with Trump” strategy.
There were almost 500,000 more voters in 2019 when compared to Bevin’s victory in the 2015 election.
Incoming Republican attorney general Daniel Cameron has already stated that he would take the office back to its intended purpose of law enforcement. Beshear was criticized for filing a slew of lawsuits intended to slow down Bevin’s initiatives.
Surprisingly, President Donald Trump’s raucous Lexington rally on election eve did not close a suspected wide polling gap hampering Bevin. Of course, the president did not accept the blame for Bevin’s loss but did take credit for the victories of other Kentucky Republicans.
#ElectionNight Won 5 out of 6 elections in Kentucky, including 5 great candidates that I spoke for and introduced last night. @MattBevin picked up at least 15 points in last days, but perhaps not enough (Fake News will blame Trump!). Winning in Mississippi Governor race!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 6, 2019
The expected Trump Bump was either insufficient or evidence of a Trump Slump. National media is hammering away at the latter possibility.
For now, Kentucky Governor-elect Andy Beshear is like the guy in Castaway. He is all alone and likely facing rough resistance from a Republican legislative supermajority.
Beshear told me on Monday that he will get expanded gaming passed. “I’m gonna make it happen.” Andy can write an EO to advance gaming or marijuana. The supermajority is then likely to push back with superseding law(s). They only need a majority to override a veto. Meanwhile, pension ￼obligations are bleeding out the rest of state ￼revenues. The new service taxes are improving revenue. Nonetheless, adding gaming and pot won’t cover the general fund needs and all pension demands. Beshear told me “I will fully fund (pensions) every year.”
Monday on @840WHAS, I asked @AndyBeshearKY what he would do in the first days of his administration: Beshear promised to 1) rescind Gov. Bevin's Medicaid waiver (saving $270m), 2) seat a new board of education, and 3) restore voting rights to 140,000 non-violent felons. 1/3 pic.twitter.com/kVWXgTTNYS
— Terry Meiners (@terrymeiners) November 6, 2019
Could there be a recount or recanvas? A UK law professor posted these details about procedures to challenge election outcomes in Kentucky. He later added this tweet.
UPDATED INFO ON KENTUCKY POST-ELECTION PROCESS:
I made a mistake earlier about KY law: there is NO recount procedure for #KYGov. The statutes exclude gubernatorial races from the recount process.
Thus, the next steps are only a recanvass and an election contest in legislature.
— Josh Douglas (@JoshuaADouglas) November 6, 2019
UPDATE: The day after the election, Governor Matt Bevin called a press conference to demand a voter recanvass. Bevin claimed there were multiple irregularities and cast aspersions upon Democrat secretary of state Alison Lundergan Grimes. He suspects that “thousands” of absentee ballots were mishandled, some polling places had access problems, and that Grimes’ ineptitude along with her father’s felony conviction for election violations demands a recanvass.
On the morning after, it is Matt Bevin who is feeling all of the pain.
Kentucky’s new world order will be quite a spectacle.