Update 10:41 p.m.: Bevin Declares Victory
Speaking to his supporters in Louisville, Matt Bevin congratulated his opponents and also Republican candidates in other races on Tuesday’s election.
He made a pitch to potential supporters throughout the state, saying he wanted to reach people regardless of political affiliation. In doing so, he spoke of conservative issues and repeated a refrain: “We are Kentucky.”
He also praised his running mate, Jenean Hampton, who would be the first African American elected to statewide office in Kentucky.
He congratulated Democratic nominee Jack Conway and his running mate, Sannie Overly.
“We will have good civil discourse, I hope,” Bevin said.
We’ll have more details coming up.
Update 10:06 p.m.: Comer to Seek Recanvass
James Comer on Tuesday night he’ll seek a recanvass in an extraordinarily tight race with Matt Bevin for the Republican gubernatorial primary.
He told supporters that he’s called Bevin to tell him of the decision. He said he’ll support his opponent in the general election if Bevin prevails.
“This has been a difficult election,” Comer told supporters.
According to the latest reported numbers, Bevin leads by 83 votes.
Update 9:59: Other Races
Here are some results from races that are not too close to call:
Allison Ball will be the Republican candidate for treasurer. She defeated Jon Larson and state Rep. Kenneth Imes, the AP reports. She’ll face Democratic state Rep. Rick Nelson in the fall. Nelson defeated four other candidates.
And state Sen. Whitney Westerfield defeated Michael Hogan for the Republican nomination for attorney general. Westerfield will face Democrat Andy Beshear. Beshear, son of Kentucky’s incumbent governor, won the nomination unopposed.
In Republican gubernatorial primary news, the AP says it’s not making a call in the race anytime soon.
Update: Also, Republican state Rep. Ryan Quarles will face Democrat Jean-Marie Lawson Spann in November for agriculture commissioner.
Meanwhile, WFPL’s Jacob Ryan reports that Matt Bevin will speak to supporters at about 10:10 p.m. James Comer will speak any minute now.
Update 9:36 p.m.: Too Close to Call
For a while, James Comer had a slight lead of fewer than 100 votes—but latest numbers reported by KET show Matt Bevin with an 83 vote lead and 99 percent of precincts reporting. So this is still either candidates’ race. Earlier, Kentucky Public Radio’s Ryland Barton sent this Tweet from the Comer camp at the moment that candidate took the lead:
Comer party loses it as KET says Comer takes the lead pic.twitter.com/M8PA2MFlqv
— Ryland Barton (@ElRylando) May 20, 2015
But this race has proven to be as close as they get. Stay tuned.
Update 8:40 p.m.: Heiner Concedes to Bevin
Speaking at his campaign rally in Louisville, former Louisville Metro Councilman Hal Heiner on Tuesday night conceded the Republican gubernatorial primary to businessman Matt Bevin. With 97 of 120 counties reporting, Bevin leads James Comer 33 percent to 31 percent. In his address, Heiner said he’s offered his support to Bevin for the general election in November against Jack Conway, who easily won the Democratic nomination. “While we are disappointed, I urge you stay involved. Support the Republican candidate,” Heiner said.
Update 8:23 p.m.: Bevin Still Leads
Matt Bevin continues to hold a lead in the Kentucky Republican gubernatorial primary. With 65 of 120 counties reporting: Bevin 34% Heiner 31% Comer 28% Scott 7% Again, Comer’s strongest support is expected to come in the western part of Kentucky, and those counties are still reporting results. But the current numbers are stirring the candidates’ rallies:
Update 8 p.m.: Close, As Expected
With 51 of 120 counties fully reported: Matt Bevin 33% Hal Heiner 32% James Comer 27% Will T. Scott 8% Comer’s strongest support is expected to come from the western part of the state, where he’s from—but it’s a question of whether that support is strong enough to make up the difference. Stay tuned. Heiner has a big lead in Louisville, his hometown. With 71 percent of precincts reporting, Heiner has 52 percent, Bevin has 31 percent, Comer has 12 percent and Scott has 5 percent.
Update 7:12 p.m.: Early Winners
Polls are closed throughout the state now. Nothing surprising here—the Associated Press has called the Democratic primaries for governor and secretary of state. The Democratic gubernatorial nominee is Jack Conway, who defeated Geoff Young. The AP notes: Conway faced little opposition in Geoff Young, a former state engineer who did not raise money and was shunned by the state party. It was the first time in four decades that Kentucky Democrats have not fielded a competitive primary, allowing Conway to skip dozens of candidate forums and raise more than $2.3 million. He’ll await the winner of tonight’s closely contested Republican primary—in which, with five counties reporting, has Hal Heiner with 39 percent, Matt Bevin with 32 percent and James Comer with 22 percent. Those votes, and many more to be processed. Also, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes won the Democratic nomination for that office, according to the AP. She defeated Charles Lovett and will face Republican Steve Knipper in November. Earlier: Polls closed in part of the state a short time ago and results are starting to trickle in. Earlier today, the Secretary of State’s office changed its voter turnout projection from 10 percent to 12 percent. Some races should be called pretty soon after polls close throughout the state at 7 p.m. Eastern. We’ll update those here as they come in. Others—specifically the Republican gubernatorial primary—could take a while. We have three reporters with campaigns for that election: In Louisville, Ashley Lopez is with the Heiner campaign and Jacob Ryan is with the Bevin campaign. In Frankfort, Kentucky Public Radio’s Ryland Barton is with James Comer. You can follow along with them on Twitter: @AshleyLopezFL, @ElRylando and @jacobhryan. They’ll be updating through the night. We’ll also have updates at 89.3 (streaming here), and on this post. Stay tuned.