Nov. 15 (UPI) — Republican Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin conceded the race for governor to Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear, a Democrat, Thursday after a statewide re-canvas of the Nov. 5 election showed minimal change in election totals.
Bevin had formally requested a re-canvassing of the vote a day after losing the election by more than 5,000 votes.
“We’re going to have a change in the governorship based on the vote of the people,” Bevin said in a news conference in front of the governor’s office. “What I want is to see the absolute best for Kentucky. I’m not going to contest these numbers that have come in. It isn’t fair to throw that on the legislature to find something that just isn’t.”
Bevin was the incumbent in the race, having served as Kentucky’s governor since 2015. He was endorsed by Trump, who won Kentucky by nearly 30 points in 2016, but his popularity declined after he clashed with school teachers and union leaders over a pension bill and attempts to impose more work requirements for Medicaid recipients. Kentucky became the first state to force Medicaid recipients to hold jobs or other employment activities for 80 hours each month in January of last year, but the federal court later struck down the plan to mandate such work, with the judge calling the plan “arbitrary and capricious.”
Beshear will take the office on Dec. 10 and Bevin wished him well.
“It’s official — thank you Kentucky,” Beshear tweeted after Bevin conceded.
“Bevin and his team have already begun a smooth transition,” he added. “It’s time to get to work!”