Review shows Bevin holding lead in Kentucky GOP primary - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Review shows Bevin holding lead in Kentucky GOP primary

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Matt Bevin declared victory in a speech to supporters Tuesday night, saying he looks forward to running against Jack Conway in the fall. Matt Bevin declared victory in a speech to supporters Tuesday night, saying he looks forward to running against Jack Conway in the fall.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The 83-vote margin holds in the Republican race for Kentucky governor.

A second look at voting machine totals and absentee ballots Thursday revealed no change in the results of the May 19 primary. Matt Bevin finished ahead of state Agriculture Commissioner James Comer by 83 votes.

The Comer campaign says he is in Florida, and will issue a statement on his next steps Friday afternoon.

WDRB caught up with Bevin as he arrived at his campaign headquarters moments after the results of the recanvass were announced.

He says the result was not unexpected, but he won't declare final victory until Comer concedes.

"Out of respect. I would expect them to assume the same from us if it was the other way around. This is exactly how we have been handling this, and how we'll continue to," he said.

Comer failed to pick up votes even in Jefferson Co., the state's most populous. Clerk Bobbie Holsclaw says she's not surprised.

"I'm delighted with the results. Not necessarily for the candidate, but for the results that came out, that is was a good, fair election here in Jefferson Co.," said Holsclaw.

Comer could still ask for a recount, which would mean looking at individual votes, not just machine totals such as in the recanvass.

The Comer campaign would have to pay that expense, potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Bevin, meanwhile, says he's moving forward to the next phase of his campaign.

"We're excited. Now chapter two begins, and chapter two is make our case to the voters of Kentucky, Republicans and Democrats and Independents alike, and to win this election in November," he said.

The State Board of elections will certify the results on June 8, unless Comer decides to continue the fight. He has to decide sometime tomorrow whether he wants a recount.

Late Thursday afternoon, Bevin issued the following statement:

"It is an honor to be the Republican nominee for Governor. I have tremendous respect for Commissioner Comer and am glad that we went through the recanvass process so that the integrity of our election was validated.

"In the weeks and months ahead we will be bringing our Blueprint for a Better Kentucky to the voters and we look forward to discussing this detailed plan for job creation."

Thursday's review appeared to end one of the closest elections in state history. It sets up a race between Bevin and Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway in a rare off-year election that serves as a precursor to the 2016 presidential contest.

More: James Comer submits official request for recanvass in gubernatorial primary

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