Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin will face off against the state’s Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear in November’s general election.
Beshear won his primary with 38% of the vote in a tight three-way race. The last name Beshear is well known in the state, as Beshear’s father, Steve Beshear, served as governor before Bevin.
Republican Governors Association spokeswoman Amelia Chassé Alcivar labeled Beshear “a liberal politician and insider who thinks he’s entitled to the state’s highest office just because of his last name.”
After Bevin managed to retain the Republican nomination Tuesday, Trump tweeted out support for the governor, saying: “Congratulations to Governor @MattBevin on winning the Republican Primary for Governor tonight in the Great State of KENTUCKY. Matt, you are doing a fantastic job!”
“People in Kentucky are going to have a very clear and distinct choice in November,” Bevin said in front of the Governor’s mansion Tuesday night. “Conservative vs. liberal, black and white, it’s that clear.”
Running on his record as attorney general — including several lawsuits he’s filed against the Bevin Administration — Beshear described himself as a “fighter who gets results.” Widely considered the front runner in the Democratic primary from the time he entered the race last July, he picked up endorsements from several prominent Democrats.
Bevin scoffed at the suggestion that Beshear can beat him.
“Suing me is not beating me,” Bevin said. “It’s not... it’s a lot of empty talk but that’s what we’ve been getting from the Beshears for the last 10 years.”
Beshear was forced to walk a fine line in deciding how to deploy his father on the campaign trail. Steve Beshear remained popular throughout his eight years in office, but Edelen hit Andy Beshear with attack ads referencing a bribery scandal in Steve Beshear’s administration that bled over into his son’s tenure as attorney general.
In 2016, Beshear’s deputy attorney general was found guilty of accepting thousands of dollars in bribes to grant government contracts to certain companies when he was Steve Beshear’s Personnel Cabinet secretary. It was later revealed that Tim Longmeyer received at least $1,000 in bribes when he was deputy attorney general, though there is no evidence either Beshear knew of the scheme.
Edelen’s decision to bring Steve Beshear’s name and legacy into the race didn’t sit well with the Beshear family, especially since Edelen was at one time the elder Beshear’s chief of staff.
“I’d ask him how he got to be auditor if he didn’t have Steve Beshear,” Steve Beshear said in Lexington Saturday. “Democrats that go negative on other Democrats don’t do anything except help the Republican cause.”