(LEX 18/AP) — Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin has cleared his first hurdle toward a second term, defeating three challengers to win the Republican nomination.
Bevin beat three Republican challengers in Tuesday’s primary election. They were state Rep. Robert Goforth, William Woods and Ike Lawrence.
The governor is an ally of President Donald Trump, who remains a popular political force in the state. The governor’s strong showing Tuesday gives him a boost heading into the fall campaign in a state that has trended overwhelmingly toward the GOP.
At least among Republican voters, Bevin overcame a series of self-inflicted political wounds from his feud with groups representing public school teachers. Bevin’s approval ratings had slumped after his failed attempt to change the state’s struggling public pension systems.
Bevin switch his lieutenant governor choice from his first term to Ralph Alvarado from Jenean Hampton.
Bevin did not do typical campaigning appearances Tuesday but was in Woodford County for a town hall meeting in the afternoon. He did encourage those in attendance to get out and vote.
“I think we’ll be fine,” he said. “The voters will decide. We’ll know after the polls close.”
When asked how he feels about tonight, Governor Matt Bevin said “I think we’ll be fine. The voters will decide. We’ll know after the polls close.” Then, he said this: @LEX18News #Decision2019 coverage starts soon. pic.twitter.com/0s2lPmSLVn
— Karolina Buczek (@Karolina_Buczek) May 21, 2019
He also received a laudatory tweet from President Donald Trump earlier in the day, in which the president urged voters to back Bevin, saying “he has done a fantastic job for you and America!”
Rep. Robert Goforth voted in East Bernstadt on Tuesday morning.
“People love a long shot,” he told reporters.
— Matt Bevin (@MattBevin) May 21, 2019