(LEX 18) — Andy Beshear won a hard-fought primary election Tuesday to become the Democratic nominee for governor and face off against Gov. Matt Bevin in November.
Beshear, the current Kentucky attorney general, fought off tough challenges from longtime state Rep. Rocky Adkins and Louisville businessman and former State Auditor Adam Edelen.
“Attorney General Beshear has defended Kentuckians against Republican Governor Matt Bevin’s cuts to higher education, closed-door deals to take public pensions, and continued attacks on working families,” Ben Self, chairman of the Kentucky Democratic Party, said in a statement. “I know Andy Beshear well, and I know he has the vision and experience to lead the Commonwealth of Kentucky and make government work for all of us. As Governor I have no doubt he will continue his work on behalf of all Kentuckians.”
Beshear ventured out in the morning along with his family in Louisville to cast his vote and told reporters he was optimistic about the outcome.
It was Beshear’s first run for governor. His dad was a two-term governor and one-time lieutenant governor. His name has recognition, but some say that his political roots could hurt him.
Beshear said November’s election was likely to draw more attention, and voters.
“This General Election is going to fire up a lot of people,” he said. “It’s not going to be an election about the right or the left, it’s going to be an election about right versus wrong.”
Adkins, the House Minority Leader, was counting on a big showing from Eastern Kentucky, where he has strong support.
“I slept good last night,” Adkins said after voting. “When you give it all you got, you leave it all out there and you know that you’ve done everything you can do to win a campaign.”
Edelen conceded the race earlier in the night. Earlier in the day, he voted in Lexington.
“To be a kid who came up in a family where my mom was 16, and they brought me to a trailer, to be able to cast a ballot for yourself for governor is extraordinary,” Edelen said.
Edelen pitched his hope that voters want something new.
“That if we’re gonna fix our broken politics and build a modern economy of the future, that we have got to do it with different kind of politicians,” he said.
The Kentucky Education Association released the following statement, “The voters of Kentucky have spoken tonight. Educators in Kentucky now have a clear view of who they can choose to lead our Commonwealth as governor, and who will determine the future for Kentucky’s children and our public education system. Come November, educators will tirelessly support a candidate that respects our profession, pushes to fully invest in our students and public education, and works to cement the promise of a pension.”