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Bevin Still Leads Comer Following Republican Gubernatorial Primary Recanvassing

Bevin supporters gathered in Louisville.

Update 4:40 p.m.: Comer To Issue Statement on Friday
A recanvass of votes from last week’s primary election yielded no change in total votes submitted for James Comer or Matt Bevin in the Republican race for governor.

Agriculture Commissioner Comer requested the recanvass last week after he was defeated by Louisville businessman Bevin by 83 votes.

All eyes are on Comer to see if he requests a full-fledged recount of the election.

His campaign manager, Edwin King, said in an email that Comer was in Florida on Thursday spending time with his family and will issue a statement Friday  about the next steps his campaign will take in the race.

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, the chief election officer in Kentucky, said she spoke with Comer and Bevin over the phone to deliver the recanvass results. Neither indicated whether they'd seek a recount.

“We did not delve into any discussion of further actions that Commissioner Comer or his campaign may or may not take,” Grimes said.

In the more comprehensive recount process, precincts from all of Kentucky’s 120 counties send in their ballots to be reviewed by the Franklin Circuit Court.

“What we are seeing is that there have been no substantial changes after a review of the totals on the machines that would indicated a manual recount could possibly change the vote totals,” Grimes said.

The recanvass did yield three additional votes for former Louisville Metro Councilman Hal Heiner in Fayette County—not enough to sway the election.

If Comer were to further contest the election results, his campaign would have to come up with legal grounds for to challenge the results, including voter fraud, intimidation or violence. His campaign would also have to cover the costs of the recount.

Candidates have until 4 p.m. Friday to request a recount or contest the election.

Also, in the race for the Republican nomination for agriculture commissioner, Richard Heath picked up one additional vote and his opponent Ryan Quarles picked up two additional votes due to absentee ballots. Quarles narrowly won the primary last week.

Earlier: Louisville businessman Matt Bevin still has an 83-vote lead for the Kentucky Republican gubernatorial nomination following a recanvassing Thursday of last week's votes, according to the Secretary of State's Office.

But a more comprehensive recount may still be called before the Friday deadline. Bevin's closest challenger, Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, was on vacation in Florida on Thursday; a spokesman said he'd announce his plans sometime Friday afternoon.

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes said Thursday's recanvassing showed no significant changes in the May 19 election results.

We'll update this story later today.