For only the second time in 40 years Kentucky will have a Republican in the Governor’s Mansion as Matt Bevin surpassed challenger Jack Conway by more than 84,000 votes in Tuesday’s General Election.
In a higher than expected – but still small voter turnout – 30.68 percent of registered Kentucky voters going to the polls to elect six state offices.
With no local races on the ballot, turnout in McCreary County was less than the state percentage, but still higher than expected. McCreary County saw 2,118 votes cast, 19.03 percent of registered voters, with a strong push for the Republican candidates. In all six races on local ballots, the Republicans carried the county with nearly 2-1 margins in every race.
Bevin had made campaign stops in McCreary last year when he challenged Mitch McConnell for the Senate race, and that personal attention paid dividends for the candidate in the polls.
Locally Bevin drew 1,362 votes to Conway’s 648 and Curtis’ 72.
Statewide some races were much closer.
In the Governor’s race Bevin took just over 52 percent of the vote total, with Conway finishing a close second with 43 percent. Independent Drew Curtis was a non-factor, pulling only 3.66 percent of the vote total.
The Attorney General race was even closer with just over 2,000 votes separating the two candidates. Democrat Andy Beshear won the post with 50.11 percent of the vote to Republican Whitney Westerfield’s 49.89 percent.
Westerfield easily carried McCreary, pulling 1,437 local votes to Beshear’s 612.
Incumbent Allison Lundergan Grimes held on to her post as Secretary of State, edging out challenger Republican Stephen Knipper by 22,000 votes. Grimes pulled 51.16 percent of the vote to Knipper’s 48.84 percent.
McCreary County backed Knipper, giving him 1,302 votes to Grimes’ 739, the closest race in the county.
Republican Mike Harmon defeated incumbent Adam Edelen by fewer than 23,000 votes to take the Auditor of Public Accounts post.
Harmon also took McCreary, pulling 1,431 local votes to Edelen’s 550.
Two statewide races, State treasurer and Commissioner of Agriculture, were both won by Republican candidates by significant margins.
Allison Ball handily defeated Democrat Rick Nelson in the Treasurer race, pulling more than 60 percent of the vote.
Ball, who made a campaign stop in the County earlier this year had the highest local vote tally of any candidate, garnering 1,550 votes while Nelson only received 458.
A similar margin of victory helped Republican Ryan Quarles hold off Democrat Jean-Marie Lawson Spann for the Commissioner of Agriculture post.
Quarles pulled 1,517 votes locally to Spann’s 464.