Bevin concedes after recanvass in Kentucky governor's race

By Jane C. Timm
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, right, with his wife Glenna, speaks to supporters gathered at the republican party celebration event in Louisville, Ky., Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019.
Timothy Easley | AP

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin conceded the governor's race Thursday after a recanvass of last week's gubernatorial election results.

Bevin, a Republican, said he would not contest the results of the election.

"Politics was never intended to be a career for anyone, nor should it be," he told reporters outside his office. "I truly want the best for Andy Beshear as he moves forward. I genuinely want him to be successful, I want the state to be successful."

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The vote tally will change after the recanvass due to absentee ballots, Bevin said, but acknowledged it would not be enough to change the results of the race.

Bevin lost by more than 5,000 votes to Beshear, the state's Democratic attorney general. On election night, NBC News declared Beshear the apparent winner.

Bevin said he hoped there was "as little disruption as well" in the transition between his and Beshear's administration.

Recanvassing means checking results at the county level, verifying the accuracy of vote totals reported from voting machines and checking absentee ballots, to ensure that there were no errors in transmission from polling places to the Secretary of State.

Bevin called for the recanvass last week, saying there were "irregularities" in the election.

"The reason we're doing this — we want the people of Kentucky to have absolute confidence that their votes were counted as they should have been counted," he said last week.

Beshear, for his part, has already begun preparing to take over as governor.

"It's time to move forward with a smooth transition," Beshear told reporters last week. "We're confident in the outcome of the election."

The Kentucky Constitution requires governors be sworn into office on the fifth Tuesday after an election; this year, that's Dec. 10.