Politics

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin requests recanvass following narrow loss to Democrat Andy Beshear

Key Points
  • Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin submitted a request for a recanvass Wednesday after narrowly losing to Democrat Andy Beshear in an upset gubernatorial election.
  • The request comes after Bevin refused to concede Tuesday night, following his apparent loss to Beshear, the state's attorney general.
  • Bevin's loss was one component of a banner night for Democrats, who in addition to apparently winning the Kentucky governor's seat, flipped both chambers of the Virginia state Legislature, even after President Trump campaigned in Kentucky.
Gov. Matt Bevin (R-Ky.) speaks at the National Rifle Association's NRA-ILA Leadership Forum during the NRA Convention at the Kentucky Exposition Center on May 20, 2016 in Louisville, Kentucky.
Scott Olson | Getty Images

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin submitted a request for a recanvass Wednesday after narrowly losing to Democrat Andy Beshear in a tight gubernatorial race.

The request comes after Bevin refused to concede Tuesday night, following his apparent loss by less than 6,000 votes, according to NBC. Bevin alluded to "a few irregularities" in a speech to supporters but did not provide any further specifics.

Bevin's request was submitted to Kentucky Secretary of State Alison L. Grimes, who is in charge of running the election.

President Donald Trump headed to Kentucky on Monday night to rally with Bevin, who is one of the least popular governors in the country, according to polls. Trump begged the crowd to vote for the Republican, warning them that a loss would send "a really bad message."

Bevin's loss was one component of a banner night for Democrats. In addition to apparently winning the Kentucky governor's seat, they flipped both chambers of the Virginia state Legislature, giving complete control of the state government to the party for the first time in decades. Republicans were able to hold onto the governorship in Mississippi, where Tate Reeves edged out Democrat Jim Hood.

Bevin criticized Kentucky Secretary of State Alison L. Grimes for apparently calling the election on live TV before votes were fully counted.

"It was an interesting choice of places for her to go while the roll was being tallied," Bevin said of Grimes in a Wednesday afternoon press conference, adding she "is not exactly rock solid as it comes to following the letter of the law. She's currently under investigation for misuse of voter files herself."

Bevin also mentioned Grimes' father, Jerry, who was convicted of illegally funneling donations to Grimes' campaign during a failed 2014 senatorial run against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Bevin is requesting a recanvass, not a recount, which is a more elaborate process. A recanvass is overseen only by the state's Board of Elections, while a recount would also be conducted in conjunction with the Circuit Court.

Under Kentucky Law, candidates can request a recount but only if they pay for it themselves.

"Last night the election ended. It ended, and it's time to move forward with a smooth transition," Beshear, who currently serves as Kentucky's attorney general, said at a news conference Wednesday.

The recanvass will be conducted on Thursday, Nov. 14 at 9:00 a.m., according to Kentucky's secretary of state.

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