The Latest: Beshear holds lead in Kentucky gov’s race
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The Latest on the Kentucky governor’s race (all times local):
Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear has a narrow lead over Republican Gov. Matt Bevin with nearly all votes counted in the race for Kentucky governor.
Beshear had to overcome an 11th-hour endorsement for Bevin by President Donald Trump, who held a rally in Lexington, Kentucky.
Beshear maintained his focus throughout the race on “kitchen table” issues like health care and education to try to blunt Bevin’s efforts to hitch himself to Trump and nationalize the race. He exploited on Bevin’s feud with teachers over pensions and education issues, an issue that resonated with voters.
Some Kentucky voters at polling places on Election Day say they are especially worried about the national political landscape.
Michael Jennings is a 73-year-old Vietnam veteran who says he feels “extremely anxious” about national politics.
Voting in Louisville on Tuesday, Jennings said he believes “the country is not only divided, but a large proportion of voters have become oblivious to the extreme peril that our democracy is facing.”
Voter Kathy Cox says she is “searching for intelligent, kind, assertive leaders who understand the constitution, who understand our civics.”
The 70-year-old Cox says she is exhausted by the state of national politics and the government’s seemingly inability to address pressing issues like climate change.
She says she is “sort of in a state of despair” that President Donald Trump will win reelection and further erode principles of truth and fairness.
Andy Beshear held an umbrella in one hand and had his other arm around the shoulder of his 10-year-old son, Will, as he left a polling precinct in Louisville.
Beshear is Kentucky’s Democratic attorney general and is trying to oust Republican incumbent Gov. Matt Bevin in Tuesday’s election.
When asked about President Donald Trump’s visit to Lexington on Bevin’s behalf on Monday night, Beshear said outside the polling precinct that Bevin “had to have someone come to town for him, because he knew he couldn’t win it on his own merits.”
Cold, rainy weather didn’t dampen voters’ spirits during a steady turnout at some polling locations in Kentucky as they cast ballots for governor.
In one Louisville neighborhood Tuesday, 25-year-old Rin Mohan says her social media feeds were full of pictures from friends wearing bracelets that read, “I voted today!”
Mohan says every one of her friends told her they were planning to vote.
She says “national politics has galvanized a lot of people my age. It’s hard to get people to take local elections seriously, but I think a lot people see Matt Bevin as a stand-in for Trumpism, and they see this vote as against that.”
Mohan, who works at a preschool, sees the Republican Bevin as a governor who has followed Trump’s example and “ruled with fear and division.” She said she likes Democrat Andy Beshear but would have voted for just about anyone running against Bevin.
President Donald Trump, abortion and education were among the issues on voters’ minds in Ashland as they cast ballots in the race for Kentucky governor.
After casting a vote Tuesday for Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear, retired teacher Nancy Ross said she could never support Republican Gov. Matt Bevin for reelection because of his stance on education and his alignment with the president.
Donna Barker, a retired teachers assistant, said she voted for Bevin because his background in business allowed him to make tough decisions on pensions and reproductive rights.
For Elizabeth Burke, a deli manager, the race came down to religion. She said she wasn’t excited about either candidate but voted for Bevin because of his stance on reproductive rights.
The race is being watched closely for signs of how the impeachment furor in Washington might affect Trump and other Republican incumbents in 2020.
Kentucky’s political grudge match between Republican Gov. Matt Bevin and Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear now lies in the hands of the voters.
Polls open Tuesday morning, hours after the incumbent governor received a ringing presidential endorsement as he faces a tenacious challenge from Beshear in his bid for a second term.
The bitterly fought campaign ended with a Lexington rally headlined by President Donald Trump meant to give Bevin a last-minute boost.
The result in the hard-fought contest could reverberate far beyond Kentucky. The race is being watched closely for signs of how the impeachment furor in Washington might impact Trump and other Republican incumbents in 2020.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has a particularly keen interest in the outcome. He’s on the ballot himself next year in Kentucky.