Political parties looking towards general election

Eighty-three votes separate Matt Bevin and James Comer in the Kentucky governor Republican primary race. Bevin is claiming victory.       
Comer is calling for a recanvass of votes.

Late this afternoon Comer officially contacted the secretary of state’s office requesting the recanvass. The recanvass will take place May 28. A recanvass means re-checking every voting machine and ballot in the state.

The two candidates were locked in a tie, each winning 33 percent of the vote. But now it’s a race toward the November election. Election officials say they can’t know how close the general election will be, but they hope the primary is evidence that every vote counts. They hope that leads to more voters at the polls in November.  

Murray State Assistant Political Science Professor Drew Seib says in the primary it’s the “rockstar quality” that brings people to the polls. 

“Your personality does matter, and your ability to connect with the voters does matter,” Seib says.

Seib says name recognition is everything. In primaries, unlike the general election, voters are forced to choose within their parties and tend to vote for who is more personable.

Republican Representative for the McCracken County election board Ulla Schierhorn hoped the four GOP personalities would draw more people to the polls. She says the board tried everything to inform the public of their campaigns and platforms, but without a larger turnout she the party is lying in wait. 

“We wished some people would be willing to come out and vote because I think its a very, very bad for the state (not to vote),” Schierhorn says.

Seib says that’s exactly the hurdle the Republicans face, given the close race. He says candidates always find cash, but campaign time can be even more valuable.  

“We’ve got another week, maybe two weeks before we know who the Republican nominee is,” Seib says, “And that’s a head start the Democrats get.”

McCracken County Clerk Julie Griggs says the recanvassing process in the Bevin-Comer race will take a couple of weeks to complete. She says she has faith in their system and doesn’t believe those numbers will change.

State Rep. Richard Heath is also calling for a recanvass. The state representative from Mayfield was in a tight race for Agriculture Commissioner. He lost to Ryan Quarles by just more than 800 votes. Heath says the recanvass will give him peace of mind.

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