State Attorney General Andy Beshear (D) defeated state House Minority Leader Rocky Adkins (D), former state Auditor Adam Edelen (D), and retired engineer Geoff Young (D) in Kentucky’s Democratic gubernatorial primary. As of 9:00 p.m. ET, Beshear had received 37.9% of the vote to Adkins’ 32.4% with 95% of precincts reporting.
Beshear, the son of former Gov. Steve Beshear (D), focused his campaign on responding to the opioid crisis, increasing wages, and increasing funding for public schools. His endorsers included former Lt. Govs. Crit Luallen (D) and Jerry Abramson (D), who both served under Beshear’s father.
Adkins, a 16-term member of the state House and the chamber’s Democratic leader, promised to secure funding for Kentucky’s pension and retirement systems as well as increased spending on infrastructure. His endorsers included former Gov. Paul Patton (D).
Edelen, who was elected as state auditor in 2011 and defeated for re-election in 2015, said he would focus on increasing spending on healthcare, encouraging the renewable energy industry to expand in Kentucky, and eliminating what he described as gender-based pay disparities. The Louisville Courier-Journal endorsed him.
Beshear will face incumbent Matt Bevin (R), who defeated three challengers in the Republican primary, in the November general election. Since Beshear and Bevin were elected to their respective offices in 2015, the two have often clashed, with Beshear launching a series of lawsuits against what he contended were unlawful modifications to state education boards Bevin had made.