2015 Election Results

Nov 3, 2015

WEKU brings you complete coverage of the 2015 Election throughout the evening. 

Stay with us for hourly updates from NPR followed by reports from Kentucky Public Radio at four minutes past each hour, starting at 7:04.

Eastern Kentucky University Political Scientist Dr. Joe Gershtenson will join us in the studio and offer observations throughout the evening.  We will also check in with Ronnie Ellis of CNHI Newspapers, Adam Beam of the Associated Press and Dr. Benjamin Knoll, Assistant Professor of Politics at Centre College.

Links to ELECTION RELATED  INFO from our area media partners:

The Lexington Herald-Leader/Kentucky.com

KET (Kentucky Educational Television) Election Coverage

WKYT-TV Election Results

NPR's Politics Blog

WFPL's Election Live Blog

Kentucky State Board of Elections

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Republican Matt Bevin Elected Governor of Kentucky

Republican Matt Bevin has defeated Democrat Jack Conway to become only the second Republican governor in the state in four decades.

Independent Drew Curtis was a distant third in Tuesday's election.

Republicans have dominated federal elections in Kentucky, but moderate Democrats have maintained control of state government. Bevin's election gives Republicans control of the executive branch along with a commanding majority in the state Senate. Democrats still have an eight-seat majority in the state House of Representatives.

Focus will almost immediately shift to the state House elections in 2016, where U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell has vowed to flex his powerful fundraising muscle to help Republicans to take over the only Southern state legislative body controlled by Democrats.

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From WFPL.org:

Andy Beshear Is Kentucky’s Next Attorney General

Democratic attorney Andy Beshear has been elected attorney general, narrowly edging out Republican state Sen. Whitney Westerfield.

Beshear, the son of outgoing Gov. Steve Beshear, had a lead of roughly 1,800 votes with 99 percent of precincts reporting when the Associated Press called the race minutes ago.

 

Beshear and incumbent Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes were the only two Democrats to win office on a landslide Election Night for state Republicans.

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In perhaps the most shocking result of Tuesday’s election, incumbent Adam Edelen lost the race for state Auditor to Republican candidate and state Rep. Mike Harmon.

Democrats and pundits alike had banked on an Edelen victory; he has long been considered a potential challenger for U.S. Sen. Rand Paul in 2016.

In his victory speech, Harmon thanked supporters.

“You all are the people that have helped give this victory,” he said to a cheering crowd. “No one person can campaign throughout the state without great people working for you, praying for you.”

Harmon said one of his first initiatives as auditor would be to push for full performance audits of the state’s ailing pension systems. “I’m going to do everything we can to get them back on track.”

Edelen conceded the race just after 9 p.m., telling a crowd of supporters that “defeat is never easy.” He congratulated Harmon and said he would head “back to the private sector.”

 

With 93 percent of precincts reporting, Harmon led 52-48.

 

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Democrats lost another statewide post. Republican state Rep. Mike Harmon has defeated Democratic state Auditor Adam Edelen, the AP reports.

And Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jack Conway has conceded.

“Tonight is not the result that we had hoped for, but it is the result that we accept,” he told supporters in Frankfort.

Quarles Defeats Spann for Ag Commish; Ball Wins State Treasurer Over Nelson

Republican state Rep. Ryan Quarles will be Kentucky’s next agriculture commissioner, defeating Democrat Jean-Marie Lawson Spann. The Associated Press called the race a few moments ago. Quarles will replace James Comer, who ran unsuccessfully for the Republican gubernatorial nomination.

Also, Republican Allison Ball will be the next state treasurer. The AP is calling the race for her over Democratic state Rep. Rick Nelson. Ball, a bankruptcy attorney, will replace Democrat Todd Hollenbach, who would not run again because of term limits.

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Edelen Upset in Republican Surge; Grimes Hangs on to Win   

Incumbent Auditor Adam Edelen upset in Republican surge that carries Mike Harmon to victory.

Alison Lundergan Grimes hangs on for re-election as Kentucky secretary of state.

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Ohio Votes Down Legalizing Pot for Medical, Recreational Use 

Ohio voters have rejected a ballot measure seeking to legalize recreational and medical marijuana use in the state.

Failure of the proposed constitutional amendment follows an expensive campaign, a legal fight over its ballot wording and an investigation into the proposal's petition signatures.

The measure known as Issue 3 on Tuesday's ballot would have allowed adults 21 and older to use, purchase or grow certain amounts of marijuana. The constitutional amendment would have established a regulatory and taxation scheme while creating a network of 10 growing facilities.

Those growing sites also were targeted in a separate ballot question aimed at preventing monopolies from being inserted into Ohio's constitution for the economic benefits of a few.

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Lexington 1st District Councilman James Brown Easily Defeats Challenger Jim Burton

From Kentucky.com

Incumbent 1st District Councilman James Brown handily beat challenger Jim Burton in Lexington's only Urban County Council race on Tuesday.

With 90 percent of precincts reporting, Brown had 81 percent of the vote compared to Burton's 19 percent.

But the race for the 1st District may ultimately be decided by Fayette Circuit Court Judge Kimberly Bunnell. A lawsuit was filed late last week challenging Brown's candidacy.

The lawsuit, filed by a 1st District resident, alleges Brown had only 86 of the required 100 signatures of registered voters needed to run. Brown, who turned in 133 signatures, has countered he has more than enough to qualify to run.

A hearing date in that case has not been set. If Bunnell rules Brown does not have the required signatures, it's not clear what will happen to Tuesday’s results.

Regardless, the seat will be up for re-election in November 2016.

Brown was appointed to the job after former councilman Chris Ford stepped down to become the city's social service commissioner.