In what was described as a smooth election by Knox County Clerk Mike Corey, Knox County voter turnout for Tuesday’s General Election was about 32%, compared to 40% statewide. The moderate turnout was higher than expected. 

The total votes cast in Knox County was 7,912. Of those, 3,218 votes were straight-party Republican, while 683 were straight-party Democrat and 23 straight-party Libertarian.

While he decidely carried Knox County, Republican Governor Matt Bevin couldn’t hold on to win another term. Criticisms of teachers and state employees and an ongoing pension debacle are credited for his downfall. In Knox County, Bevin took 5,346 votes to Beshear’s 2,658. Libertarian John Hicks received 169 votes.

Bevin’s defeat to current Attorney General Andy Beshear is hardly an indictment against the Republican party in Kentucky. Every major Republican candidate won their statewide race, including Attorney General-Elect Daniel Cameron, who is also the state’s first African American to hold the office. Cameron defeated Greg Stumbo, a democrat who has previously served as Attorney General and longtime State Representative. 

Newcomer Michael Adams defeated Democrat Heather French Henry, a former Miss America and wife of former Lieutenant Governor Steve Henry, to become the next Secretary of State. He will succeed Allison Lundergan Grimes.

Incumbent State Auditor Mike Harmon held onto his seat for another term. He faced challenges by both Democrat Sheri Donahue and Libertarian Kyle Hugenberg. Incumbent Treasurer Allison Ball also held off a challenge by Democrat Michael Bowman. 

In another of the state’s closest-watched races, Republican incumbent Ryan Quarles won another term as Agriculture Commissioner, besting Democrat challenger Robert Conway and Libertarian Josh Gilpin.

Former Court of Appeals judge and current Knox County Circuit Court Judge Michael O. Caperton fell to Jacqueline Caldwell in his bid to recapture the seat he lost in 2014 to Debra Hembree Lambert, who went on to win a seat on the Kentucky Supreme Court last year.

As of press time Wednesday morning, Gov. Bevin had not conceded the race, citing “irregularities” and vows to carry on. “This is a close, close race,” Bevin said. “We are not conceding this race by any stretch.”

Charles is a native of Barbourville, Kentucky. He has worked with The Mountain Advocate in various capacities since 2003.

Recommended for you