Election 2019

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Attorney General Andy Beshear has won the Democratic nomination for governor in Kentucky, setting up a showdown with his political nemesis — Republican incumbent Matt Bevin.

In Tuesday’s primary election, Beshear defeated two other prominent Democrats — former state auditor Adam Edelen and longtime state Rep. Rocky Adkins.

J. Tyler Franklin | wfpl.org

Andy Beshear on May 3, 2019.

Beshear will try to restore the governorship for Democrats and carry on a family tradition. His father, Steve Beshear, was a popular governor whose two terms preceded Bevin’s tenure.

Even during the primary campaign, Beshear aimed most of his criticism at Bevin. The two have waged a series of legal battles in recent years as Beshear challenged some of Bevin’s executive actions and sued him on pension and education issues.

Bevin beat three Republican challengers in Tuesday’s primary election. They were state Rep. Robert Goforth, William Woods and Ike Lawrence.

The governor is an ally of President Donald Trump, who remains a popular political force in the state. The governor’s strong showing Tuesday gives him a boost heading into the fall campaign in a state that has trended overwhelmingly toward the GOP.

At least among Republican voters, Bevin overcame a series of self-inflicted political wounds from his feud with groups representing public school teachers. Bevin’s approval ratings had slumped after his failed attempt to change the state’s struggling public pension systems.

In other news:

  • In the Kentucky Secretary of State race, Heather French Henry won the Democratic nomination.
  • Incumbent Ryan Quarles won the Republican nomination for Kentucky agriculture commissioner, and Robert Haley Conway secured the Democratic nomination.
  • Greg Stumbo is the Democratic nominee for Attorney General after running uncontested. He will run against Republican Daniel Cameron.
  • Incumbent Auditor Mike Harmon is the GOP nominee after running uncontested. He will run against Democrat Sheri Donahue.
  • Incumbent Treasurer Allison Ball is the GOP nominee after running uncontested, and will run against Michael Bowman.