2015 Governor Race



Governor-elect Matt Bevin said he plans to dismantle Kynect, Kentucky’s health insurance exchange, by the end of 2016.

He also said he plans to roll back the state’s expansion of Medicaid.

Charles Compton / WEKU News

Few saw it coming.

Leading into Tuesday’s elections, political prognosticators were predicting a close race for governor of Kentucky. If anything, public polling suggested a slight edge for Democrat Jack Conway.

But GOP candidate Matt Bevin defeated Conway by 9 percentage points, leading to elation for Republicans gathered in Louisville on Tuesday and deflation among Democrats watching results in Frankfort.

Rob Canning, WKMS

A candidate who barely made it out of the primary ended up leading Kentucky Republicans to one of their most successful election days in recent history.

Matt Bevin will be just the second Republican governor of Kentucky since 1971, a distinction he earned Tuesday with 53 percent of the vote — 9 percentage points better than Democrat Jack Conway. Independent Drew Curtis had less than 4 percent of the vote.

2015 Kentucky Election Results (Statewide/Local)

Nov 3, 2015

Updated: 9:15 p.m.  

With 100% of counties reporting in Kentucky, here are the final unofficial numbers from the Kentucky State Board of Elections. Final voter turnout: 30.68%

Governor/Lieutenant Governor 

  • Matt Bevin/Jenean Hampton (REP) - 511,771 - 52.52%
  • Jack Conway/Sannie Overly (DEM) - 426,944 - 43.82%
  • Drew Curtis/Heather Curtis (IND) - 35,629 - 3.66% 
"Elections in Kodiak" by NicoleKlauss, Flickr Commons, CC BY 2.0

Kentuckians head to the polls on Tuesday to cast ballots for governor, attorney general and other statewide offices — or at least we think they will. With turnout predictions ranging from bad to worse, it’s no guarantee the commonwealth’s next chief executive will be selected by anything close to a majority of his constituents.

Rob Canning/WKMS

  One of the most significant moments of Attorney General Jack Conway’s career was his refusal in 2014 to appeal the state’s same-sex marriage ban in federal court.

When Kentucky voters elect a new governor next week, it will be a test of where white, rural voters' allegiances lie. The Democratic Party has been losing their vote for decades, but in Kentucky, that old coalition has stuck around much longer than in its neighbors to the south.

And in the race to replace retiring Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear this November, Republicans hope to finally win over that portion of the electorate.

To understand current-day political branding in Kentucky, you have to go back to the Civil War.

John Null/WKMS

  With five days to go until Kentucky’s gubernatorial election, the final Bluegrass Poll of the race shows Democrat Jack Conway with a five-point lead over Republican Matt Bevin. But Conway told a crowd at the Calloway County Democratic Party's headquarters Wednesday night the race is far from cinched up.

Ryland Barton | wfpl.org

One of the more unusual moments of the 2015 race for governor came in August during the Fancy Farm Picnic, famous for its unruly crowds.

Republican Matt Bevin approached the lectern where for decades Kentucky candidates faced deafening heckles and jeers — and asked the audience to join him in the Pledge of Allegiance.

If a nerd needed to create a real-life Lord Of The Rings-style fellowship to shepherd the Ring of Power across Middle Earth to Mt. Doom, independent gubernatorial candidate Drew Curtis’ campaign finance report might be a good place to find some names.