Republican Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin finally conceded to Democrat Andy Beshear during a Thursday afternoon press conference, more than one week after the Nov. 5 election.
“We’re going to have a change in the governorship based on the vote of the people,” Bevin said in a press conference.
“I truly wish the attorney general well,” he added.
Last week, Kentucky voters elected Beshear to be the next governor by a roughly 5,000 vote margin. As allowed under Kentucky law, Bevin, who served just one term as the state’s governor, requested a recanvas, a process to ensure all votes were properly reported.
In his press conference Thursday, Bevin admitted that the recanvas, which was set to be completed Thursday afternoon, would not alter the outcome of the election.
“I’m not going to contest these numbers that have come in,” he said.
The concession comes after a week of turmoil during which some Republicans in the state threatened to overturn the will of voters in order to deny Beshear a victory.
Republican state Senate President Robert Stivers suggested to the media that the GOP-controlled legislature could install Bevin as governor for another four years if Bevin decided to contest the election results. Under Kentucky law, a contested gubernatorial election is decided by the state legislature.
“There’s less than one-half of 1 percent, as I understand, separating the governor and the attorney general,” Stivers said at the time. “We will follow the letter of the law and what various processes determine.”
Stivers also suggested “most of the votes that went to Libertarian John Hicks, who received about two percent of the total vote, would have gone to Bevin and made him the clear winner,” according to the Courier-Journal.
Beshear ran on a platform heavily focused on education and health care. He vowed to fully fund every public school, and his running mate, Jacqueline Coleman, was a teacher.
Beshear also plans to rescind work requirements for those covered by Medicaid, a move he says will save health care coverage for 95,000 Kentuckians.
Donald Trump held a rally for Bevin on the eve of the election, but was unable to sway enough voters in a state Trump carried by 30 points in 2016.
Beshear will officially become governor on Dec. 10.
Published with permission of The American Independent.