Updated: Jul 21
With the recent upset victory of ̶S̶t̶e̶v̶e̶ Andy Beshear in the governor race, we wanted to take an in depth look into the nail-biter of a race that was decided by 5000 votes. We will have a Democratic governor staring down a Republican super-majority in both houses in the legislature, as well as an entire slate of elected officials from the other party.
This is Kentucky politics at its finest. And by that I mean, absolutely wild and reckless.
Andy Beshear, the only Democratic candidate who won their race, will need a LOT of cross-aisle cooperation to get the things he wants accomplished. Both branches of the legislature, an attorney general , secretary of state, auditor , and agricultural commissioner are from the opposite party and could make for a very tricky situation.
An event 227 years in the making, Cameron will be the first black attorney general in the history of Kentucky.
A lot of new ideas are going to be coming out of Frankfort. Medical cannabis and expanded gambling (and all that tax $$$) could soon become a real , debatable issue in our state!
Bevin isn't conceding the race, meaning we could be in for weeks of posturing, lawsuits, recounts, recanvassing, and a whole lot of other specialized vocabulary.
This governor dispute isn't entirely unprecedented in the Bluegrass State, with the 1899 election between Republicans and Democrats causing a series of chain reactions. They include the Democratic state legislature invalidating the Republican candidate , William S. Taylor after more than 60 days in office only for the Democratic candidate, William Goebel , to be assassinated. Their lives would be a great Netflix mini-series.
It's not just Louisville vs the Rest Anymore
It would be too easy to write off any Democratic win as a case of large urban population centers turning out more than rural areas. That didn't happen. Instead, smaller cities all across central, western, and especially across Eastern Kentucky voted for Beshear as a candidate.
Democrats still outnumber Republicans by around 200,000 voters, according to the Kentucky Board of Elections. In a poor state where many people still benefit from the TVA hydroelectricity and dam projects led by FDR in the 1940s, it was only within the last four decades that Kentucky has been viewed a Republican stronghold.
Take a look at the New York Times electoral maps from the 2019 governor race.