Election Day Updates: Beshear Leads, But Bevin Won't Concede
10:09 p.m.: With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Democrat Andy Beshear maintained a narrow margin over Republican Gov. Matt Bevin. The Associated Press says the race is too close to call; even so, Beshear declared victory Tuesday night. For his part, Bevin has not conceded, citing unspecified "irregularities."
9:11 p.m.: It's been a good night for Kentucky Republicans, as they've swept all of the down ballot races. But the race for governor is still too close too call; Democrat Andy Beshear was still holding on to a narrow lead with 98.55 percent of precincts reporting.
8:40 p.m.: Voters in the southwest side of Louisville have elected Joe Marshall to retain his seat on the Jefferson County Board of Education. Marshall prevailed over six challengers, winning with 41 percent of the vote.
JCPS board members unanimously appointed Marshall in August to an open seat vacated by Benjamin Gies. Under a new state law passed this spring, board members were given the power to appoint a replacement, but Marshall alsofaced challengers in the November general election.
Marshall is one of 28 recently appointed school board members across the state who faced an election this year, according to the Kentucky School Boards Association.
“Thanks to the voters of District 4. They saw the work that we started and they voted to allow us to finish out the term next year,” Marshall said. “The journey continues.”
8:31 p.m.: Daniel Cameron, a 33-year-old corporate attorney and former counselor for Mitch McConnell has won the election to become Kentucky’s Attorney General.
At less than half the age of his Democratic opponent, Daniel Cameron will become the state’s first African-American to win state office at the top of the ticket.
Cameron defeated Former Attorney General and House Speaker Greg Stumbo.
As attorney general, Cameron will defend the state in court, file lawsuits on behalf of the state and investigate potential criminal activity.
Cameron has said he will pursue litigation against opioid manufacturers and look at criminal justice reforms. He is opposed to legalizing marijuana, but is open to discussing medical pot, he said in a KET interview.
On abortion, Cameron has said he believes in the “sanctity of life” and will defend laws passed by the state’s Legislature, which legislation that is currently being challenged in court.
“I’m here to tell you that Daniel Cameron as attorney general is going to protect the sanctity of life,” he said.
Cameron touts his relationship with McConnell and President Donald Trump, and says he played a role in getting Justice Neil Gorsuch confirmed to the Supreme Court in 2016. Cameron also worked as a spokesman for the Kentucky Smart on Crime Coalition, a group that advocates for criminal justice reform measures in the state.
8:19 p.m.: Former legislator and Republican incumbent Mike Harmon has won reelection as Kentucky’s Auditor of Public Accounts.
Voters elected Harmon over Democrat Sheri Donahue and Libertarian Kyle Hugenberg to serve another four years as the state’s chief auditor. With 78 percent of precincts reporting, Harmon received 55 percent of the vote. In the role, Harmon will continue to serve as an independent office tasked with reviewing accounts, financial transactions and the performance of all state government.
Harmon said he plans to use his second term to build on his accomplishments.
“But our goal is to, one, continue to be a resource, try to be more resource, try to continue the great work we’ve done and more specifically try to look for things that have not already been audited,” Harmon said in a WFPL interview last month.
8:12 p.m.: Republican incumbent Ryan Quarles has won reelection as Kentucky’s Commissioner of Agriculture.
The former state representative staked much of his bid for reelection on his efforts to develop the Kentucky Proud program, which markets local farm products, and efforts to expand hemp farming in the state — a plank that appears to have resonated with Kentucky voters.
7:54 p.m.: The Associated Press has called the Kentucky Treasurer election for Republican Allison Ball.
7:43 p.m.: The Attorney General’s Office has received 82 calls to its Election Law Violations hotline as of 7 p.m., according to the website. Fifty of those have come in since polls opened this morning.
Among the complaints, voters called in with allegations of electioneering and fraud. Others talked of disruptions at the polls and issues with voting machines.
It's possible that at least one of those calls came from a Jefferson County polling location that was on lockdown this afternoon after a report of a person with a firearm near the school. The Jefferson County Clerk’s Office says residents who planned on voting at Bowen Elementary School in Moorland were turned away for about 45 minutes before re-opening. — Ryan Van Velzer
7:10 p.m.: Polls are officially closed and results are rolling in for the 2019 Kentucky election for governor and down ballot races.
As of 7:05 p.m. nearly 10 percent of the 3,659 precincts in the Commonwealth were reporting and it is too soon to say which way any one race could go. Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes says voter turnout may exceed 31 percent.
Republican incumbent Matt Bevin faces off against Democrat Andy Beshear in a bitterly fought race for Kentucky governor with no clear indication of who could win. — Ryan Van Velzer
4:19 p.m.: At St. Stephens Church in Louisville's California neighborhood, Marika Hollingsworth voted for Democratic candidate Andy Beshear, while accompanied by her eight-year-old son Edward. Hollingsworth said she didn’t like the way Republican incumbent Matt Bevin talked about teachers this year, and she’s also concerned about proposed changes to the Medicaid program. Her 71-year-old mother has Medicaid coverage because she has a disability and is wheelchair bound.
“So the decisions made as far as Medicaid are concerned, I mean, will affect my mom,” she said.
Hollingsworth’s mom's Medicaid coverage likely wouldn’t have been impacted because of her disability status, but nonetheless there was a lot of confusion about Bevin’s proposed changes and what would apply to who.
Teresa Draper-Allen voted at St. Stephens, too. She is 61 years old, retired and said she’s voting against Bevin. If it were up to her, anyone struggling financially would get the money or health care they need. But, it’s not up to her, so she’s voting for a candidate who says he’ll keep Medicaid intact: Beshear.
“Yes. that's the main issue right there. It's awful, you know, too many people need Medicaid and you trying to cut it and stuff , that's not right," she said. "You livin' O.K.. We have to make ends meet. So it's no good for us when you cutting it. f you have benefiting the people, you don't need to be there. Straight up.”
But for Mark Palmeri, another health issue was at the forefront. Palmeri is a full-time caregiver to his wife who’s been permanently disabled for about nine years. He gets a monthly income for this from the state for keeping her out of a more pricey nursing home. His family relies on that income each month. But he said Medicaid and other social programs aren't his main issue. It’s abortion.
“Even though our lives seem to be dependent on this kind of thing, I'm not voting so that that's protected," Palmeri said. "Because you know, God said he formed us and knew us before he formed us in our mother's womb. Well, if you believe in God and you believe in the Word of God, Then that's part of it. So life, there's other solutions, then murdering innocent babies.”— Lisa Gillespie
2:38 p.m.: Joe Evans and his mother Edna Evans said they vote often because it is a right. Outside their voting location at Albert S. Brandeis Elementary School, the Evans’ said people should vote to change state and federal offices.
“I think it’s important for everybody to come out and vote, and show their opinion,” Edna Evans said.
“I just hope everybody comes out because we definitely need a change,” Joe Evans said. “Once the change happens, I think people will look back at what we have now and appreciate what we will have later.” — Kyeland Jackson
12:14 p.m.: At Brandeis Elementary School in Louisville's Parkland neighborhood, there was a slow but steady stream of traffic this morning.
Wilma Duncan was one of the residents who showed up to cast her ballot; she said she's voting for Democrats because Republican Governor Matt Bevin and President Donald Trump are "a pain in the ass for us poor people."
“The Republicans need to go. The Democrats need to come back in and put everything back in order,” Duncan said. “I’ve told about a hundred people already — I said, ‘Get the Republicans out.’ They said, ‘Honey, don’t worry. We are.’” — Kyeland Jackson
9:42 a.m.: It's a rainy Election Day in Jefferson County, and we won't know how or if the weather ends up affecting the turnout until later. But yesterday, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes predicted a statewide voter turnout of about 33 percent. If that bears out, it will be slightly higher than the state's last two gubernatorial elections; voter turnout was 30.6 percent in 2015, when Gov. Matt Bevin was first elected and 28.6 percent in 2011, when Gov. Steve Beshear was reelected to his second term.
In Jefferson County, Jefferson County Clerk’s spokesman Nore Ghibaudy said he expects voter turnout to be higher than in recent gubernatorial races, based on the number of absentee ballots his office has already collected.
"I think here in Jefferson County, with the candidates getting out and pushing for a vote here, I think we’re going to see anywhere from maybe 38 to 41 percent," Ghibaudy said.
Higher-than-average voter turnout in Jefferson County could favor Democratic candidates. Registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans in Jefferson County 3-to-2. — Liz Schlemmer and Lisa Autry.