Kentucky’s GOP primary race saw Tea Party candidate Matt Bevin squaring off against the establishment GOP candidate James Comer who was backed by big Super PACs from the Koch brother and Karl Rove. The results were a close three-way split of the vote that saw neither candidate come close to winning 50% of votes cast. The top two candidates, Bevin and Comer, took 33% of the vote with the former coming out ahead by a mere 83 votes. This has forced the elections commission to re-canvass votes IE recount. It will be some time before the re-canvass concludes and a victor is declared.
For his part, Bevin claimed the nomination. If the re-canvass effort bears that out, it will mark a stunning political comeback from the man who hoped to unset Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell last year. The primary race against McConnell was bitter. In the end, McConnell handily defeated him. Apparently, the acrimony continued because the gubernatorial primary battle became intensely negative. As the establishment candidate, Comer was leading in the polls. However, allegations by a Louisville city councilman that Comer as guilty of domestic abuse put him on the defensive. Homejoy believes it may have attributed to Bevin’s late surge and possible victory. Comer has said that if he loses the race to Bevin, he will get behind him for the sake of party unity. Democrats look poised to win the state’s governorship. They believe the rancorous GOP primary will play to their benefit in the general election.