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Panel Expects Partisanship, Policy Changes Following Election

Matt Bevin sign at the Republicans' 2019 Election Party
Matt Bevin sign at the Republicans' 2019 Election Party

Listen to the episode:

Why does Louisville have so many fish fries?

Kentucky’s Republican party secured all but the governor’s seat during this year’s election. WFPL’s In Conversation looks back on election day and asks what’s ahead for Kentucky based on the results.

Our guests were:

  • WFPL Capitol Bureau Chief Ryland Barton
  • FiveThirtyEight Senior Writer Perry Bacon Jr.

Andy Beshear claimed victory in the governor’s race, but Matt Bevin will not concede. Bevin has asked for a recanvass of Tuesday’s results and claimed,without evidence, that there were irregularities during the election. His claim could result in an election contest, but WFPL Capitol Bureau Chief Ryland Barton said it is unlikely the election will shift in Bevin’s favor.

“There’s never been a recanvass that has changed the outcome of an election,” Barton said, adding that lawmakers have urged Bevin not to pursue an election contest. “[An election contest] would be a very, very controversial thing for a governor to do. But at the same time [lawmakers are] saying, ‘If the governor has any evidence, please produce it.’”

Beshear has moved forward with planning for his transition despite Bevin refusing to concede, but FiveThirtyEight Senior Writer Perry Bacon Jr. said it may be difficult for Beshear to pass policies in a Republican majority legislature.

“He’s going to write a budget proposal, the Republicans, I’m assuming, will be like, ‘Thank you, now we’ll actually pass the budget we prefer.’ So he’s going to be limited in certain ways,” Bacon said. “I do think there are some things Andy will do as governor that are important, but … he’s [got] a very rough road ahead.”

Bacon said one of those obstacles could be newly-elected Attorney General Daniel Cameron, who would have incentive to fight Beshear’s policies.

“Andy, in his four years, filed a lot of lawsuits against governor Bevin. So I assume Cameron will have some incentive and be pushed by Republicans to do the same thing,” Bacon said.

Kyeland Jackson is an Associate Producer for WFPL News.