World, Americas

US: Deep-red Kentucky becomes Democrat out of blue

Democrats also took control over Virginia statehouse for first time in 26 years

Vakkas Dogantekin   | 06.11.2019
US: Deep-red Kentucky becomes Democrat out of blue


Democrat Andy Beshear has declared victory in Kentucky's gubernatorial race over incumbent Gov. Matt Bevin, a Republican ally of U.S. President Donald Trump.

Bevin refused to concede "by any stretch" due to "irregularities," calling it a "close, close race".

"We want the process to be followed, and there is a process," he said during his election-night speech on Tuesday, without going into details.

Bevin failed to catch Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear after all precincts reported, 49.2% (711,955 votes) to 48.9% (707,297 votes) at a time when the Libertarian candidate John Hicks received 28,475 votes, or 2%.

"My expectation is that he [Bevin] will honor the election that was held tonight," Beshear said in a speech to supporters.

The historic election night also recorded Republicans easily winning another deep-red state Mississippi despite a strong Democratic challenge, while electing Kentucky’s first black attorney general Daniel Cameron.

Mississippi elected Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves the state’s next governor, instead of Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood.

In 2016, Trump carried Mississippi by around 17 points, and Kentucky about 30 points.

Cameron made history as the first African-American to be elected Kentucky Attorney General and the first Republican to hold the post in more than 70 years.

Cameron's landslide victory in Kentucky shed light to personal low performance and unpopularity of Bevin among the Kentuckians, who has lost the election despite a Trump rally and endorsement a day earlier.

Given five wins out of the six races in Kentucky, Republicans are not expected to change lanes in 2020 presidential race.

Democrats also managed to take full control over Virginia, considered a presidential battleground state, for the first time in 26 years.

Republicans had a slim majority in the state senate and house going into Tuesday's races.

Republican Geary Higgins, the only candidate Trump has endorsed by name, was defeated in a contest for a northern Virginia Senate district that was held by the Republicans.

Trump lost Virginia in 2016.

In a gleeful night for the Democrats in the state, Sen.-elect Ghazala Hashmi became the first Muslim-American woman to serve in the Senate, while Danica Roem, who went into history in 2017 as the first openly transgender person elected to the Virginia House of Delegates, easily won reelection. 

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