Kentucky Republican Gov. Matt Bevin conceded in his reelection bid against Democrat Andy Beshear on Thursday after a statewide effort to recanvass votes yielded no significant change in the outcome of the race.
Bevin asked Kentucky’s 120 counties to conduct a recanvass after he narrowly lost to Beshear, who was the attorney general of the state, by just over 5,000 votes.
According to local station WLKY, Bevin wished Beshar, the son of former Democratic Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, the best in a press conference on Thursday afternoon.
“I truly want the best for Andy Beshear as he moves forward. I want him to be successful. I want this state to be successful,” Bevin said in a news conference.
“I’m not going to contest these numbers that have come in,” Bevin also said, reported CNN.
In the press conference, he also said he wouldn’t ask the Republican-controlled state legislature to overturn the elections, The Hill reported.
Bevin previously told WKYT before the recanvass: “It’s not likely to change a lot numerically, but you have to go through this as a first step … to make sure the numbers that were written down and communicated are accurate.” He said his office is also preparing for Beshear to assume the governorship.
“There are very good odds, he could be the next governor—no question about it,” Bevin told WKYT. “Right now, he is numerically ahead and would seemingly be the next governor, and if that is corroborated and held up through this process, I’ll be his number one cheerleader.”
There has been speculation that Bevin’s loss could be an ominous sign for Trump and other Republicans in 2020.
But Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) dismissed the loss and said Republicans won five out of six races.
“We did lose the governor’s race, we were disappointed in it. But the interesting thing is we beat a lot of other candidates that no one expected us to. So actually, in many ways, there was sort of a red wave in Kentucky,” he said on Nov. 11.
But Democrats said that it’s a bad sign for Trump.
“Any Republican that tries to downplay Andy Beshear’s win, and it looks like he will win, they are whistling past the graveyard,” Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) said of the loss. “Kentucky is one of the most Republican states in the country. President Trump put it all in by going down there last night to try to get Kentucky to do what they always do, which is go red.”