Matt Bevin

J. Tyler Franklin

More than a week after initial results showed him losing to Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear by more than 5,000 votes, Gov. Matt Bevin has conceded the election.
Bevin’s concession means that Beshear will become the 64th governor of Kentucky on Dec. 10th, Inauguration Day.

Bevin made the announcement during a press conference in the state Capitol in Frankfort while a recanvass of the election was being conducted across the state.

“We’re going to have a change in the governorship based on the vote of the people,” Bevin said. “And what I want is to see the absolute best for Kentucky.”

thinkstock

Some political observers may be scratching their heads over how a reliably red state that embraces President Donald Trump chose a Democrat over the Republican incumbent for governor in last week’s election in Kentucky. 

Outgoing Attorney General Andy Beshear emerged the apparent winner with a more than 5,100-vote advantage over Matt Bevin. 

Joel Turner, a political science professor at Western Kentucky University, doesn’t think the governor’s race was a referendum on President Donald Trump, whom he expects to win Kentucky again in the 2020 election by 20 to 30 points.  Turner says the results from the Nov. 5 contest instead reflect widespread dissatisfaction with Bevin.

Dealing with GOP Legislature Next Challenge for Beshear

Nov 8, 2019
Ryland Barton

Preparing to assume the Kentucky governor's post after his election showdown with incumbent Matt Bevin, Democrat Andy Beshear faces perhaps an even bigger challenge ahead — dealing with a Republican-dominated legislature determined to set its own agenda.

Although Bevin has refused to concede after Tuesday's results showed him trailing by more than 5,000 votes, Beshear has pivoted toward preparing to govern ahead of the Dec. 10 inauguration. Beshear has started reaching out to GOP lawmakers whose help he would need to pass many of his proposals.

"It's time to come together and to get to work," Beshear said at a postelection press conference.

Ryland Barton

Kentucky Commissioner of Education Wayne Lewis says it is not within the Kentucky Department of Education’s authority to investigate political emails sent from a private individual to teachers’ professional email accounts.

On Wednesday, the Kentucky Education Association called for Lewis or the Kentucky Board of Education to lead a state investigation into political emails teachers in several rural Kentucky school districts received at work. 

The teachers in at least eight districts received emails criticizing Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andy Beshear over the last two weeks. The emails went to the teachers’ public school email addresses and were sent from an unknown supporter of Republican Gov. Matt Bevin. Bevin has said that his campaign was not behind the effort.

Lisa Autry

Governor Matt Bevin says voters in next month’s election will decide if they want lies or the truth about Kentucky’s ailing pension plans. 

The Republican incumbent says as long as the state has more retirees than workers, the retirements systems cannot be saved without changing future benefits. 

In a speech to the Bowling Green Noon Rotary Club on Wednesday, Bevin called any promises to the contrary a “straight up lie.”

Andy Beshear, Matt Bevin official photos

Republican Governor Matt Bevin and his opponent, Democrat Attorney General Andy Beshear continued to battle over contentious campaign issues at this fall’s first gubernatorial debate Thursday in Paducah. 

The two candidates for governor discussed issues ranging from how to control the invasive Asian Carp in west Kentucky reservoirs, infrastructure investment including the state’s middle-mile broadband system KentuckyWired, economic development with recent layoffs in west Kentucky, and how to continue to fund the state’s pension systems.

 


Lisa Autry

Kentucky’s attorney general is promising public school teachers a clear contrast from the current administration if he’s elected governor. 

Democrat Andy Beshear brought his “Stop the Bullying” tour to Bowling Green on Tuesday.  Speaking at the local Kentucky Education Association office, Beshear accused Republican Governor Matt Bevin of bullying and degrading teachers who protested pension reform that would have impacted their benefits in this year's legislative session.


Bevin Writes to Lawmakers to Outline Changes to Pension Plan

Jun 6, 2019
J. Tyler Franklin, WFPL

Looking to break the gridlock on his pension-relief proposal, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin has reached out to lawmakers with several changes he's agreed to make in hopes of winning enough support to have the measure taken up in a special legislative session.

The proposal aims to provide relief for some state-funded agencies struggling with surging pension payments. Bevin has spent weeks trying to build support for his plan, which would replace a measure he vetoed in April after lawmakers ended this year's regular session.

"I ask every single member of the General Assembly to support this legislation so that we can prevent the completely avoidable loss of services, loss of jobs and loss of funding for our pension system," Bevin said in a letter dated Wednesday that was sent to lawmakers.

Ryland Barton

With about a month to go before Kentucky’s primary elections, all three major Democratic candidates for governor appeared together on stage for the first time on Thursday.

During a forum held by Louisville’s Rotary Club, candidates differed only slightly in their stances on a wide range of issues including preserving Kentucky’s Medicaid expansion, shoring up public education and allowing casino gambling to generate revenue for the state’s ailing pension systems.

Lisa Autry

Economic development opportunities are opening up for Warren, Butler, Ohio, and Daviess counties along the new Interstate 165, formerly known as the William H. Natcher Parkway. 

Governow Matt Bevin joined local elected leaders and business representatives in Bowling Green on Tuesday to celebrate the designation.

The project, announced in 2016, will upgrade the 70-mile corridor between Bowling Green and Owensboro to an interstate spur. 

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and Federal Highway Administration agreed last fall to officially designate the Natcher Parkway as I-165. 

Lisa Autry

The Kentucky Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a law that made changes to one of the country’s worst-funded public pension systems.  The state’s Democratic attorney general called it a "landmark win for all our public servants" while the Republican governor warned the ruling would "destroy the financial condition of Kentucky." 

In a 7-0 decision, justices found that me manner in which the General Assembly passed pension reform legislation this year violated the state Constitution.

Public Domain

Next week, a federal court in Louisville will hear arguments over a new Kentucky law that bans a common type of abortion procedure.

Earlier this year the Kentucky legislature passed a bill banning dilation and evacuation abortions after the 11th week of pregnancy except in medical emergencies.

Gov. Matt Bevin signed the law and the ACLU sued on behalf of EMW Women’s Surgical Clinic, the state’s only abortion provider, arguing that the measure is unconstitutional.

J. Tyler Franklin

Governor Matt Bevin romanticized the harsh labor practice of indentured servitude during an event promoting Kentucky’s apprenticeship program to business leaders on Monday.

Bevin is the descendant of William Bevin, a Connecticut man who learned the craft of bell-making while working as an indentured servant in the early 19th century.

After the completion of his contract, William Bevin founded a bell-making company with his brother in 1832.

Office of Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin

Pushback to changes made to Kentucky’s public pensions and Medicaid program have led to a drop in Governor Matt Bevin’s job approval. 

A poll by Morning Consult suggests that Bevin is the fourth-least popular governor in the nation.

Fifty-seven percent of Kentucky voters said they disapproved of Governor Bevin’s job performance during the second quarter of this year, compared with 29 percent who backed him.  That’s a 25-point net dip from the first quarter.

Public Domain

A federal judge could decide this week if Kentucky can move forward with changes to its Medicaid program. 

Kentucky was the first state in the nation to receive a waiver from U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.  The waiver sought by Governor Matt Bevin’s administration would require able-bodied adults to work or volunteer to maintain their Medicaid coverage.  Enrollees would also pay small premiums and face lockout periods for failing to renew their benefits on time.

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