'There's nobody who thinks he won the election. We counted the votes, and he lost.'
Voters in Kentucky want Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear to be their next governor, and even some Republicans are encouraging Republican Gov. Matt Bevin to concede, the Louisville Courier Journal reported Thursday.
Despite losing Tuesday's election by more than 5,000 votes, Bevin still refuses to concede the race. Without providing any evidence, he has claimed election irregularities cost him the governorship.
"Governor-elect Beshear is entitled to the democratic legitimacy that comes with loser's consent," Rep. Jason Nemes (R-Louisville) wrote on Facebook Wednesday. "So let's go through the process honorably and expeditiously and give it to him."
On Wednesday, Bevin called for the state to re-canvass the results, a process to ensure that the votes were correctly tallied. According to the New York Times, experts doubt such a measure will change the outcome of the election.
Some Kentucky Republicans are skeptical as well.
"If somebody were to put an additional zero somewhere in error and could have influenced this many votes, it would have been caught already," Sen. Chris McDaniel (R-Taylor Mill) told the Courier Journal. "I think the possibility of a recanvass catching something in this election is between slim and none."
But not all Republicans are willing to listen to the voters.
Shortly after the election, Republican Senate President Robert Stivers proposed a way for the GOP-dominated state legislature to overturn the election results and install Bevin as governor for another four years. Stivers referred to a Kentucky law that allows the legislature to determine the result in the case of contested gubernatorial elections.
The idea does not seem to be gaining traction among Stivers' colleagues.
"It would have to be a gigantic mountain of evidence of fraud in order to nullify the results," Rep. Adam Koenig (R-Erlanger) told the Courier Journal. McDaniel agreed, saying "there has to be such solid evidence of large scale fraud" if the legislature is going to overturn the results of the election.
One Democrat in the state was more forceful in their denunciation of Stivers' proposal.
"1.5 million Kentuckians spoke at the ballot box last night and a majority of them voted for Andy Beshear to be our next governor," Democratic Senate Leader Morgan McGarvey said in a Wednesday statement. "Any attempt by Gov. Bevin to undermine these results in the legislature is wrong and should be viewed as a direct attack on the democratic process."
Bevin has thus far provided no evidence of voting irregularities, and any such claim would be undercut by the fact that Republicans won each of the four other statewide races.
An adviser to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell poured cold water on Bevin's refusal to concede this week, telling the Courier Journal, "There's nobody who thinks he won the election. We counted the votes, and he lost."
When asked to comment, David Turner, a spokesperson for the Democratic Governors Association, was already looking ahead to the upcoming Beshear administration.
"The election is over and the transition has begun," Turner said in an emailed statement, adding, "we expect Matt Bevin to honor the results."
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.