Bevin concedes after recanvass doesn’t change outcome, making Beshear’s win official

Gov. Matt Bevin introduces Vice President Mike Pence. “He was a man that was supportive of me because we shared certain core values,” Bevin said about Pence, “Things that we believe the principles of America were founded upon.”

Jeremy Chisenhall

Gov. Matt Bevin conceded the gubernatorial election to Governor-elect Andy Beshear on Thursday as the final results of the recanvass came in and showed that the outcome of the election would not change.

Beshear won Nov. 5’s gubernatorial election by more than 5,000 votes, which was less than 1% of the total vote. Bevin requested the recanvass on Nov. 6, citing “irregularities” in the election process. 

“What I want is to see the absolute best for Kentucky,” Bevin told the media in Frankfort Thursday. “I’m not going to contest these numbers that have come in. It isn’t fair to throw that on our legislature to try to find something that there isn’t.”

Bevin cited issues with absentee ballots during his concession. There were discrepancies in vote tallies for Anderson and Logan counties between election night and the start of the recanvass. These discrepancies added 371 votes to Bevin’s total and 262 votes to Beshear’s total.

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes told Ryland Barton of Kentucky Public Radio that this was because of late absentee ballots. 

{{tncms-inline account=”Ryland Barton” html=”<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Grimes details a few changes between election night totals and official totals (before recanvass)Late absentee votes in…Anderson Co: Bevin gets 237, Beshear 168Logan Co: Bevin 134, Beshear 94, 1 Hicks.Also, Bevin lost 5 votes in Elliott Co due to a misread precint tape</p>— Ryland Barton (@RylandKY) <a href="">November 14, 2019</a></blockquote>” id=”″ type=”twitter”}}

The final vote tally was still in favor of Beshear by over 5,100 votes. 

  • Beshear 709,890
  • Bevin 704,754

Bevin wished Beshear the best, and said he wouldn’t try to undermine him as he transitions into the office. Despite the concession, Bevin did still criticize the election process in Kentucky and questioned its integrity once again.

“There is not any real sense of transparency with how the voting process works,” Bevin said. “…What you’re going to see is that we do not have checks and balances.”

Bevin acknowledged before the start of the recanvass that it was unlikely to change the outcome.

“It’s not likely to change a lot numerically, but you have to go through this as a first step,” Bevin said in an interview with WKYT in Lexington. “I don’t even know that you have to, but it makes sense to go through it to make sure that the numbers that were written down and communicated are accurate.”

Bevin would not say definitively whether or not he would challenge the results of the recanvass prior to Thursday. During his concession, he said his team knew of issues, but added they wouldn’t be enough to change the outcome. 

As the transition process happens, the state’s constitution dictates that Beshear has to be sworn into office by the fifth Tuesday after the election, which would be Dec. 10. 

Editor-In-Chief Jeremy Chisenhall can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @JSChisenhall.