Results: Kentucky Primary 2019

May 21, 2019

Results are in for the Kentucky 2019 primary election. 

Republican ballot

Governor/Lieutenant Governor  

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin has cleared his first hurdle toward a second term, defeating three challengers to win the Republican nomination.

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.

Attorney General

Daniel Cameron, former lawyer for U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, has won the Republican nomination for Kentucky Attorney General. He will face former AG Gregory Stumbo, who ran unopposed.

Secretary of State

Former Board of Elections member Michael Adams has won the Republican nomination for Kentucky Secretary of State, beating three other candidates.

On Tuesday, Adams defeated former general counsel of the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Andrew English; cybersecurity professional Stephen Knipper and former Secret Service agent Carl Nett. All four GOP candidates say they support enacting a photo ID law at the polls.

Knipper narrowly lost to Democrat Allison Lundergan Grimes for Secretary of State in 2015. Grimes is finishing her second term and cannot run again for the office.

All four GOP candidates say they support enacting a photo ID law at the polls.

He will face Heather French Henry in November. 

Commissioner of Agriculture 

Incumbent Ryan Quarles has easily won the Republican nomination for Kentucky agriculture commissioner.

During the campaign, Quarles touted his successes in the office over the past four years including the expansion of industrial hemp production as well as success in connecting famers to new markets and an initiative to feed the hungry.

He beat challenger Bill Polyniak in early totals Tuesday night.

Quarles will run against Scott County farmer Robert Conway.

Auditor

Mike Harmon ran unopposed and will face Louisville cybersecurity professional from Jefferson County Sheri Donahue.

Treasurer

Allison Ball ran unoppossed and will face banker Michael Bowman in the November election. 

Democratic ballot

Governor/Lieutenant Governor

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.

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.

Attorney General

Gregory Stumbo ran unopposed and will face Daniel Cameron, a former lawyer for U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Secretary of State

Heather French Henry, a former Kentucky veterans affairs commissioner and Miss America, has won the Democratic nomination for Kentucky Secretary of State.

Henry defeated three other Democrats in early vote totals.

Henry won Miss America in 2000 and has been a longtime advocate for veterans. She defeated three other Democrats for the nomination, teacher and business owner Jason Griffith; former Air Force Capt. Jason Belcher; and comic book artist Geoff Sebesta.

Henry was veterans affairs commissioner under former Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear and served as deputy commissioner under Republican Gov. Matt Bevin until she resigned to run for office.

Four Democrats and four Republicans were seeking to succeed Alison Lundergan Grimes, who can't run again due to term limits.

Commissioner of Agriculture

Scott County farmer Robert Conway has won the Democratic nomination for agriculture commissioner. Conway will face incumbent Ryan Quarles.

Conway is an eighth-generation Kentucky farmer who touted his experience managing multimillion dollar budgets and hundreds of workers as a transportation executive. He said he wants to help farmers diversify, including with the production and cultivation of hemp and medical marijuana.

Auditor

Sheri Donahue has won the Democratic nomination for Kentucky auditor.

The Louisville cybersecurity professional from Jefferson County says she ran to rebuild faith in Kentucky's government and will focus on protecting elections and rooting out "waste, fraud and abuse," especially in the public pension system.

Donahue beat teacher Kelsey Hayes Coots and author Chris Tobe on Tuesday.

She will face incumbent Republican Auditor Mike Harmon in the November general election.

Treasurer

Banker Michael Bowman wins Democratic nomination for Kentucky treasurer. Bowman will face incumbent Republican Treasurer Allison Ball in November. 

Bowman is a branch manager for U.S. Bank in Louisville and worked within Louisville Metro Council as a legislative assistant. In 2018, Bowman ran as a Democrat in the race for Jefferson County Clerk; he lost to Republican Bobbie Holsclaw. 

Original story: 

Kentuckians are headed to the polls today to choose their Republican and Democratic nominees for governor, attorney general, secretary of state, auditor, treasurer, and agriculture commissioner. 

Voters are urged to verify their registration status before going to their precinct at GoVoteKY.com.  That website can also be used to find polling locations and get driving directions. 

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes reminds voters that Kentucky has closed primaries.

“So if you are not a registered Democrat or Republican, there will not be the ability for those that are ‘other party' registered to cast a ballot," Grimes told WKU Public Radio.

Kentucky's closed primary system affects about 300,000 independent and third party voters. 

Among the voters turning out in Bowling Green was Rita Hageney who works as a case manager for a private foster care agency.

“I think there are several things that are important to me," Hageney stated. "Of course the abortion issue is important. Immigration is important. Also things for teachers and all the problems that they’ve had with the pension.”

Voters across Kentucky are experiencing little to no wait at voting precincts.  Based on historical data and absentee ballot totals, Grimes predicts about 12.5% of voters will show up at the polls out of 3.4 million registered voters in the commonwealth.  Alonzo Webb of Bowling Green is a Korean War veteran who says he appreciates having his voice heard.

“Voting to me is just a privilege and a right," commented Webb. "I’m a veteran and I feel that what people have sacrificed for and given the privilege for, I come out and support that.”

In order to cast a ballot, voters must either be known by a precinct officer or show a driver’s license, social security card, or other form of ID that contains a picture and signature.

The Kentucky Attorney General's Office is urging voters to report anything suspicious at the polls to the Election Law Violations Hotline at 1-800-328-VOTE (8683).

Polls close this evening at 6:00 p.m. local time.   You can hear our live election show from the Kentucky Public Radio Network starting at 6:00 p.m. central, 7:00 p.m. eastern time. You can also check back here for online election results.