Incumbent Governor Matt Bevin (R), as it turned out, had a tough primary challenger but has secured his party’s nomination by roughly 34,700 votes in the nation’s first statewide gubernatorial and attorney general primary of the 2019 cycle. Newcomer and State Representative Robert Goforth received nearly 40% of the vote during the primary making this a shaky showing for the Governor, coupled with a dismal approval rating, that could prove troubling as we inch closer to November.
Governor Bevin has been running on his accomplishments in his first term and his unwavering support of President Trump – the President’s approval rating is very healthy in the Commonwealth, particularly with the Republican base. Governor Bevin has touted regulatory reform, the reduction of the size of the state’s government by 10%, and the enactment of Right to Work legislation under his administration. He has also pledged to continue working on his own third rail: pension reform.
Andy Beshear secured the Democratic gubernatorial nomination yesterday defeating two party challengers. Beshear is the state’s current Attorney General and son of former Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear (D). He has released a healthcare plan and pledges to make healthcare more affordable, enact protection laws for pre-existing conditions, prioritize mental healthcare, and strengthen long-term care. Attorney General Beshear (D) has campaigned on his record in the office such as his work on human trafficking, lawsuits against opioid manufacturers, and his multiple lawsuits (and wins) against the Bevin Administration.
Those court battles possibly along with the Governor’s attempted dismantling of Beshear’s father’s legacy, have created quite the grudge match between Attorney General Beshear and Governor Bevin. Best of luck to those calling for civility in politics this cycle in the Blue Grass State.
Down ballot, Kentuckians chose Daniel Cameron (R) to take on former House Speaker, and former Attorney General, Greg Stumbo (D) in the race for Attorney General. Stumbo is a seasoned statewide campaigner and ran unopposed. Cameron, former legal counsel for U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), secured the Republican nomination by nearly 11 points.
Want to know more about the Kentucky Primary? Shoot Meghan Holihan an email at firstname.lastname@example.org