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McConnell Moves On From Bevin: ‘We’ll Have A Different Governor In 3 Weeks’

Ryland Barton

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says that it appears Gov. Matt Bevin has lost his bid for reelection, even though Bevin still hasn’t conceded the race.

Bevin has requested a recanvass of the final tally that showed Beshear winning by more than 5,000 votes last Tuesday. A recanvass is a minimal double check of each county’s final election results and historically has only produced minor differences in the final count.

But on Monday, McConnell signaled that the race was over.

“I’m sorry Matt came up short, but he had a good four years and I think all indications are — barring some dramatic reversal on recanvass — that we’ll have a different governor in three weeks,” McConnell told reporters after an event at North American Stainless in Ghent.

The unofficial results of last week’s election showed Beshear defeating Bevin by 5,189 votes after a hard-fought race that culminated with President Donald Trump rallying for Bevin on the eve of the election.

Bevin has questioned the results of the election without evidence. During a press conference last week, he made unfounded claims that thousands of absentee ballots had been improperly counted and other allegations.

Bevin’s only other option to challenge the election totals would be to file an election challenge — a process where the Republican-controlled legislature would determine the outcome of the race.

When asked if Bevin should concede following the recanvass, McConnell said he wouldn’t give the governor any advice, but then seemed to urge the governor to move on.

“My first election was almost the exactly the same number of votes that Beshear won by. We had a recanvass, they added them up, it didn’t change and we all moved on,” McConnell said.

State lawmakers from both political parties have encouraged Bevin to concede the election following the recanvass, which will take place on Nov. 14th.

The first day to file an election contest is Nov. 25th, the day the State Board of Elections certifies the final results of the election. Bevin would have a month to formally contest the election.

Meanwhile Beshear has begun the process of taking over the governorship and by putting together a transition team to build a new administration.

Inauguration Day is Dec. 10th.

Ryland Barton is the Managing Editor for Collaboratives. He's covered politics and state government for NPR member stations KWBU in Waco and KUT in Austin. He has a bachelor's degree from the University of Chicago and a master's degree in journalism from the University of Texas. He grew up in Lexington.

Email Ryland at
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