Kentucky citizens must be a glutton for punishment. With the results of the Tuesday primary election, Republicans are one step closer of proving to the nation just how much pain, suffering and embarrassment they are willing to endure with a second term of Matt Bevin, as Governor. But, even with a last minute endorsement tweet from Donald Trump, Bevin still had a very weak showing, garnering only 52% of the GOP primary vote. His Republican challenger, Robert Goforth, made a very impressive showing with 39.9% of the vote and carrying most of Eastern Kentucky with 30 counties.
With members of his own party starting to question his leadership abilities, public confidence is eroding and after 4 years, Kentucky is ranked at or near the bottom in economic opportunity, health care quality and financial solvency. Without any real roots in Kentucky, Bevin has always viewed the Governorship as a stepping stone to a much higher office and in the meantime he's walking all over public employees, teachers, retirees and union members. Not since Chris Christie was photographed sunbathing like a beached whale on the “closed” shores of New Jersey, has a governor been this unpopular across the nation.
In 2015, voter apathy made it possible for Matt Bevin to move into the Governor's Mansion, and in the 2019 primaries only 19.26% of Kentucky's registered voters (that's less than one in five) cast a vote. In Fulton county, an abysmal 13% even bothered to show up at the polls at all. There's truth in that old adage, the squeaky wheel always gets the grease. Because in our Democratic system, voting is the best way to make sure our voices are heard, our concerns are addressed and our elected officials are held accountable.
Kentucky is second in the Nation in receiving disability payments, 1 in 5 Kentuckians live at or below the poverty line and almost 700,000 seniors are trying to survive on Social Security. I feel it's our civic responsibility to vote and I also believe we have a moral obligation as well. Under current law, Social Security Benefits are guaranteed, but Congress has the power to change that law. We cannot become complacent, Republican politicians are already trying to break the promises made for retirement pensions and health benefits that are hard earned by the American worker.
In Kentucky, more Democrats than Republicans are registered to vote, and as we head into November, this slight edge may make a difference in defeating the vulnerable Matt Bevin. The Democratic Party's nominee, Kentucky's Attorney General Andy Beshear, may come with some baggage, but in the final primary tally he received 149,438 votes to Bevin's 136,060. Andy Beshear and Jacqueline Coleman, make a strong team with deep Kentucky roots and with the ever growing dissatisfaction of Matt Bevin, Democrats just may win back the Governor's Office.
Can Kentucky survive 4 more years of Republican Governor Matt Bevin, with his draconian cuts to Education, the verbal abuse of teachers and public employees, and the continued assault on Unions, I don't know...maybe. But I'd rather take my chances going quail hunting with Dick Cheney. Please do not let voter apathy keep you from voting, because your vote matters and every vote counts.