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Mercer, Kentucky, move into the red

The Harrodsburg Herald of Harrodsburg, Kentucky

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Mercer County and Kentucky took a hard swing to the right on Tuesday night, with Republicans claiming five of the top six offices in the commonwealth.

Locally, the G.O.P. candidate, businessman Matt Bevin, defeated Democrat Attorney General Jack Conway, 3,517 to 2,054. Bevin and his running mate, Jenean Hampton, collected 60.22 percent of the vote to Conway and running mate Sannie Overly's 35.17.

Even though there are twice as many registered Democrats as Republicans in Mercer County, more Republicans showed up Tuesday. Two thirds of the voteβ€”65.22 percent, or 1,738 voters β€” voted for the straight Republican ticket, versus 34.78 percent, or 927 voters, who went straight Democrat.

The low Democrat turnout continues a trend from the 2014 election, when 57 percent of the vote went to the G.O.R while 40 percent went to the Democrats. The only Democrat to win in Mercer County Tuesday night was D. Steve Wilson, who ran unopposed for constable of the 5th magisterial district.

While Republican Stephen L. Knipper defeated Alison Lundergan Grimes for Kentucky Secretary of State, 3.123 to 2,658, in Mercer County, she held onto her office in the statewide race. Whitney Westerfield defeated Andy Beshear for Attorney General, 3358 to 2398. Republican Mike Harmon defeated Adam H. Edelen, 3,419 to 2,276, for State Auditor, Allison Ball defeated Rick Nelson for State Treasurer 3,915 to 1,758 and Ryan Quarles defeated Jean-Marie Lawson Spann 3,894 to 1,764 for Agriculture Secretary.

Mercer swung to the right along with most of the rest of the state on election night. At 8:45 pm., the Kentucky Democratic Party sent out an email conceding the gubernatorial race. The only Democrat to win statewide was Alison Lundergan Grimes.

The Louisville Courier-Journal's Bluegrass Poll β€” conducted Oct. 23-26 by calling people on landlines and sending questionnaires to their mobile devices β€” showed Conway leading Bevin 45 to 40 percent. Independent Drew Curtis received 6 percent and 10 percent remained undecided.

However, the pollsters admitted that, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, it was still statistically possible Bevin was holding a slight lead. However, on election night, it wasn't even close.

Curtis, the independent, and his running mate, Heather Curtis, collected 269 votes, or 4.61 percent of the vote. They also only collected only 4 percent of the vote in the statewide race.

For those tired of campaign ads, the conclusion of Kentucky's gubernatorial election is only the beginning of the season. At press time on Tuesday, there were 370 days until the 59th Presidential Election, on Nov. 8, 2016. Iowa's presidential primary β€” the nation's first β€” will be Feb. 2, 2016.

Kentucky's Republican caucus will be held Saturday, March 5, and the Democratic primary will be held Tuesday, May 17.

Copyright 2015 The Harrodsburg Herald, Harrodsburg, Kentucky. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: November 5, 2015

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