LOUISVILLE, Ky. (LEX 18) — Gov. Matt Bevin, who unofficial results showed lost Tuesday's election by fewer than 5,000 votes, has refused to concede the race.
With 100% of precincts reporting, the Republican governor came up short in his bid to secure a second term, falling to Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear.
But appearing Tuesday night at his watch party, Bevin first praised the rest of the GOP slate, which largely succeeded in the down-ticket contests, then turned to his own apparent loss.
"This is a close, close race. We are not conceding this race by any stretch," he declared.
The unofficial results showed Beshear winning with 711,955 votes versus 707,297 votes, or fewer 4,658 total votes. Libertarian candidate John Hicks garnered 28,475 votes.
Bevin said that there is a process in place and that he wants to see it followed according to law.
"In the end, we will have the governor that was chosen by the people of Kentucky," Bevin told the crowd.
Beshear nonetheless declared victory at his own watch party. He noted that he had not been contacted by Bevin, but said he wished him and his family well.
The Kentucky Democratic Party released the following statement on Beshear's victory:
"Congratulations to governor-elect Andy Beshear and Lieutenant governor-elect Jacqueline Coleman on their hard-fought victory. Tonight voters sent a clear message: They're ready to turn the page of four years of failed, divisive republican governance and want to move forward with leadership that will deliver real solutions for all Kentuckians. Tonight's results should serve as a wake-up call to members of the General Assembly and Sen. McConnell heading into 2020. Kentuckians want leaders who fight for public education, good paying jobs and access to affordable healthcare."
Sen. Mitch McConnell also released a statement about the results of the election:
"Republicans have much to celebrate tonight. A complete sweep of constitutional offices with the attorney general, auditor, commissioner of agriculture, secretary of state and treasurer is an amazing sign of strength for republican governance in Kentucky. I'm particularly proud of the historic election of Daniel Cameron."