Election Central | GOP primary too close to call; turnout more t - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Election Central | GOP primary too close to call; turnout more than projected

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Jack Conway speaks about jobs, education and small business on May 19, 2015 ahead of receiving the Democratic nomination for governor. Jack Conway speaks about jobs, education and small business on May 19, 2015 ahead of receiving the Democratic nomination for governor.
Hal Heiner takes the stage to speak at his campaign event May 19, 2015. Hal Heiner takes the stage to speak at his campaign event May 19, 2015.
In a speech to supporters May 19, 2015, James Comer announced that he would ask for a recanvass. In a speech to supporters May 19, 2015, James Comer announced that he would ask for a recanvass.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- Attorney General Jack Conway easily won the Democratic nomination for Kentucky governor, while the GOP race remained too close to call. 

James Comer said Tuesday night that he would seek a recanvass. Unofficial returns showed him in a virtual tie with businessman Matt Bevin.

Republicans Hal Heiner and Will T. Scott conceded early.

Matt Bevin delivered a speech to his supporters Tuesday night thanking everyone for their support. He also congratulated Jack Conway on his win and said he looks forward to running against the Democrat in the fall. 

There is no runoff election in Kentucky, and no automatic recounts. State law allows for recanvassing only if a county clerk or a county board of elections notices a discrepancy or if a candidate makes a written request to the Secretary of State.

Comer says he owes it to his supporters to request a recanvass. However, he says he told Bevin that he would help get him elected in November if Bevin is ultimately declared the winner.

Turnout for Kentucky's primary election surpassed the secretary of state's original projection and reached more than 12 1/2 percent by the time most of the votes were counted.

The secretary of state's website said more than 399,000 ballots were cast out of 3.1 million registered voters. Voters chose nominees for their parties for the fall races for governor, attorney general, secretary of state, treasurer and agriculture commissioner.

Spokeswoman Lynn Zellen said earlier that an increase in absentee voting over the last several days has led officials to hope that more than 10 percent of voters would turn out.

Governor GOP - Primary

  • 3,700 of 3,700 precincts - 100 percent
  • Matt Bevin 70,479 - 33 percent
  • James R. Comer 70,396 - 33 percent
  • Hal Heiner 57,948 - 27 percent
  • Will T. Scott 15,364 - 7 percent

Kentucky's Republican primary for governor is too close to call

Candidates Matt Bevin, James Comer, Hal Heiner and Will T. Scott waged a furious campaign in an unusually crowded field for a Republican primary in a state that has long been dominated by Democrats.

Heiner conceded on Tuesday night, congratulating Bevin, and Scott lagged far behind the other three.

But Comer and Bevin were locked in a virtual tie with nearly all precincts reporting.

The campaign was overshadowed by allegations from a former girlfriend that Comer had emotionally and physically abused her while the two dated in college more than two decades ago.

Click HERE for the latest election results.

Rep. Ryan Quarles wins GOP nomination for ag commissioner

State Rep. Ryan Quarles has claimed the Republican nomination for Kentucky agriculture commissioner.

The Georgetown lawmaker defeated fellow state Rep. Richard Heath of Mayfield in Tuesday's primary, which pitted candidates with rural pedigrees.

Quarles will look to keep the job in GOP hands. Quarles advances to a general election matchup against Democrat Jean-Marie Lawson Spann, who was unopposed in the primary.

The agriculture commissioner runs the Department of Agriculture. It promotes Kentucky farms and oversees a number of regulatory functions, ranging from the sale of eggs to animal health to making sure gasoline pumps and grocery store scales are accurately calibrated.

Quarles grew up on a farm in Scott County in central Kentucky and studied agricultural economics in college on his way to becoming a lawyer.

Click HERE for the latest election results.

Allison Ball wins GOP primary for Kentucky treasurer

Allison Ball has won the Republican primary for state treasurer in Kentucky, defeating two other candidates.

The treasurer's race was the most crowded primary field of candidates for a statewide office this year in Kentucky. Ball, a Prestonsburg attorney, will face Democratic state Rep. Rick Nelson in November.

Ball defeated Lexington attorney Jon Larson and state Rep. Kenneth Imes of Murray in the GOP primary Tuesday.

Ball says she would apply conservative principles to the office that balances the state's checkbook and handles other financial duties. She says she would work to connect more Kentuckians with their unclaimed property, another role of the treasurer.

Larson was the one candidate who supported doing away with the treasurer's office. Larson said the treasurer's duties can be folded into the Finance and Administration Cabinet.

Click HERE for complete election results.

Nelson wins Democratic nomination for state treasurer

State Rep. Rick Nelson has defeated four opponents to win the Democratic nomination for state treasurer in Kentucky's primary election.

The Middlesboro lawmaker now faces Republican Allison Ball of Prestonsburg in the November election.

The winner will succeed Todd Hollenbach, a Democrat in his second term who couldn't run again because of term limits.

Nelson defeated Louisville business executive Neville Blakemore, former state Rep. Richard Henderson of Mount Sterling, state Rep. Jim Glenn of Owensboro and Louisville real estate agent Daniel Grossberg in the crowded Democratic primary.

Nelson says his teaching career would give him special insight as a board member helping oversee the pension system for teachers. Nelson says he would like to get out of the office occasionally and teach financial literacy classes at high schools to emphasize the importance of money management.

Click HERE for complete election results.

State Sen. Westerfield wins Republican nomination for AG

State Sen. Whitney Westerfield has won the Republican nomination for Kentucky attorney general.

Westerfield defeated Lawrence County Attorney Michael Hogan in Tuesday's primary election.

The Hopkinsville lawmaker will face Andy Beshear, the son of Gov. Steve Beshear, in the November election for the job as Kentucky's chief law enforcement officer. Beshear was unopposed in the Democratic primary.

Westerfield is a former assistant commonwealth's attorney. He touts his chairmanship of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Westerfield says he helped shape high-profile legislation to combat heroin addiction, revamp the state's juvenile justice system and allow victims of abusive dating relationships to seek emergency protective orders.

Kentucky's current two-term attorney general, Democrat Jack Conway, is running for governor.

Westerfield said he would use the courts to fight what he sees as President Barack Obama's regulatory overreach.

Click HERE for complete election results.

Heiner concedes in Kentucky, but race too close to call

Former Louisville city councilman Hal Heiner is conceding in Kentucky's Republican primary for governor.

But the race remains too close to call, with early returns Tuesday showing businessman Matt Bevin with a narrow lead over Agriculture Commissioner James Comer. Former state Supreme Court Justice Will T. Scott lagged far behind.

The campaign was marked by allegations that Comer abused an ex-girlfriend in college in the 1990s. Comer denied the allegations and was never charged. He accused opponent Hal Heiner of scheming with a blogger who was promoting the abuse story.

Heiner later publicly apologized.

"The outcome of this election is not what we had hoped for, not what we had worked for, but tonight I called Matt Bevin, congratulated him on his victory, pledged my support in the Fall campaign, and said, I need you to beat Jack Conway to move this state forward," Heiner said in his speech.

He says voters should stay involved and support the Republican Party.

Click HERE for complete election results.

Jack Conway wins Democratic nomination for Kentucky governor

Conway faced little opposition in Geoff Young, a former state engineer who did not raise money and was shunned by the state party. It was the first time in four decades that Kentucky Democrats have not fielded a competitive primary, allowing Conway to skip dozens of candidate forums and raise more than $2.3 million.

Conway will face a Republican nominee battered from a brutal primary campaign that will force him to spend much of his time replenishing nearly empty campaign coffers.

"As I get older I only know that I can control my own campaign what me and my immediate family does and I intend to control that and make sure we send the right message to Kentuckians this fall," Conway said at a press conference Tuesday. "The governor of Kentucky controls a huge budget that invests in secondary education, higher education, workforce development, the governor really should be the ambassador to bring jobs to the state."

Democrats have won nine out of the last 10 elections for governor. But Republicans have made gains in voter registration and have had success by tying Kentucky Democrats to President Barack Obama, who remains deeply unpopular throughout the state.

Click HERE for the latest election results.

Early returns show tight race in GOP primary in Kentucky

The polls have closed in Kentucky, and early returns show businessman Matt Bevin and former Louisville city councilman Hal Heiner in a virtual tie in the state's Republican primary for governor.

Agriculture Commissioner James Comer and former state Supreme Court Justice Will T. Scott lagged behind both on Tuesday.

All four had waged a furious campaign in an unusually crowded field for a Republican primary in a state that has long been dominated by Democrats.

The campaign was overshadowed by allegations from a former girlfriend that Comer had emotionally and physically abused her while the two dated in college more than two decades ago.

Comer and Bevin quickly used the allegations to paint Heiner as a dirty campaigner, changing the dynamic of the race just weeks before voters went to the polls.

Click HERE for the latest election results.

Grimes wins Democratic nomination for secretary of state

Alison Lundergan Grimes has easily defeated a little-known primary challenger as she seeks a second term as Kentucky's secretary of state.

Back on the ballot several months after losing her bid for the U.S. Senate, Grimes had no trouble fending off a challenge from Charles Lovett of Louisville, who didn't seek campaign donations.

Grimes faces Republican Steve Knipper of Independence in the November election. She became one of Kentucky's best-known politicians in last year's high-profile Senate race. 

She lost to now-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican who turned the race into a referendum on President Barack Obama, who is unpopular in the state.

Kentucky's secretary of state oversees elections for public offices and the incorporation of businesses in Kentucky.

Click HERE for the latest election results.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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