Wednesday, May 22, 2019

We'll Be Watching the Governor's Race in Kentucky This Fall

Andy Beshear
Kentucky's Attorney General Andy Beshear won the Democratic primary yesterday and will face incumbent Republican Governor Matt Bevin, who also won his primary yesterday but not by much (52% of the vote). Bevin is "deeply unpopular," and Beshear is the son of the governor who immediately preceded Bevin in office, Steve Beshear.

Kentucky is one of just three states that will be choosing governors in 2019 (including Louisiana and Mississippi).

Bevin is unpopular because of his efforts to cripple the Affordable Care Act and for pushing through cuts to public pensions for teachers and other government employees. Beshear ran his campaign as a defender of public pensions, education funding, and health care access -- those "dinner table issues" that helped Democrats take back the House last year.

Beshear had two opponents in the primary. Adam Edelen, a former state auditor who has become a solar-energy entrepreneur, ran to Beshear's left and got about 27% of the vote. Rocky Adkins from the Eastern Kentucky mountains ran as a social conservative, opposed to abortion rights and a protector of the coal industry. Adkins finished second with 33% behind Beshear's 38%.

If I were a Kentucky voter, I would probably have voted for Edelen, but I'm eager to see Beshear beat Bevin this November.

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