Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear, a Democrat, won a second four-year term in the election on Tuesday in the red state.
With 87% of votes counted, data showed Beshear with 654,537 votes and 52.5% support, beating out Republican candidate Daniel Cameron, who had 592,884 votes and 47.5% support.
The numbers were sufficient enough for the Associated Press and others to call the contest in Beshear’s favor and for Cameron to concede the race.
Cameron, the state’s attorney general, said in his concession speech that he called the governor to congratulate him and encouraged supporters to pray for the winner.
“I ask that you pray for Gov. Beshear … What ultimately matters is that we know that Christ is on the throne.”
— Republican Daniel Cameron in his concession speech to Andy Beshear (D) in the Kentucky governor's race pic.twitter.com/e3JhuPq6E8
— The Recount (@therecount) November 8, 2023
“I know from his perspective and from all of our perspectives that we all want the same thing for our future generations: a better commonwealth, one in which it can ultimately be a shining city on a hill — a model and example for the rest of the nation to follow,” Cameron said.
Beshear ran a staunchly pro-abortion campaign in a state where voters last year rejected a constitutional amendment to enshrine Kentucky’s near-total ban after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade while Cameron set his focus on issues related to crime and radical gender theory.
Race shook up the contest with ads from a liberal Super PAC funded by billionaire George Soros suggesting that Cameron, who is black, is an “Uncle Tom.”
Former President Donald Trump, who won Kentucky by double-digits in the 2020 election, endorsed Cameron, but polling indicated that Beshear was popular even among Trump voters.
“Tonight, our Commonwealth rejected anger politics and proved there is more that unites us than can ever divide us,” Beshear said in a post to X on Tuesday celebrating his victory.
But in his victory speech, Beshear took political shots, including at Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who joined with Cameron on the campaign trail in the final stretch.
“Tonight, Kentucky made a choice … of Jack Harlow over Sarah Huckabee Sanders,” he said, referring to the Louisville native rapper who appeared with Beshear at a rally last week. Beshear also bragged of his success against other GOP officials and conservative groups who opposed him.
President Joe Biden, who may face Trump next year in a 2020 rematch, spoke with Beshear to congratulate him on winning re-election, according to the White House.