FRANKFORT, KY, November 4, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Matt Bevin, who campaigned as a pro-life “Christian conservative,” became only the third Republican governor of Kentucky since the 1950s last night in a stunning victory over state Attorney General Jack Conway.
“Tonight was such a good night for conservatives in Kentucky,” said Bevin, who won 53 percent of the vote to Conway's 44 percent. That will make him Kentucky's third Republican governor in half a century.
The Republican, who identifies strongly with the Tea Party, expressed his strong support for religious liberty by visiting Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis in jail alongside Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz.
“I congratulate Matt Bevin on his win,” Davis said upon hearing the election results. “At a clerks' meeting, he hugged me and said he was praying for me. I am looking forward to his leadership as our new governor.”
Conway, who favors “safe and legal” abortion, refused to defend the state's constitutional marriage protection amendment in court and did nothing to grant Davis the religious accommodation she begged for. His political future is now in doubt, as a three-time loser whose most prominent defeat came in 2010 against Sen. Rand Paul.
Planned Parenthood operated a phone bank asking voters in the Bluegrass State to vote against Bevin, according to state sources. “We are calling on the Democratic candidates to disavow this effort, and we would hope that these candidates would want to distance themselves from groups engaged in the selling of baby parts for profit,” said Martin Cothran, spokesman for the Family Foundation of Kentucky. But no disavowal was forthcoming.
Bevin found himself sharply outspent by his Democratic rival, $8.75 million to only $5.5 million, and abandoned by the national Republican Party, which did not invest any money in his campaign until the last three weeks.
On Tuesday, Bevin told radio talk show host Laura Ingraham that a backlash against the nation's largest abortion provider and the jailing of Kim Davis would help power him into the governor's mansion.
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“The election was not even close. The lopsided victory for Matt Bevin stunned most political pundits,” said Mat Staver, Davis' lawyer and the founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel. “The people favor traditional values and marriage, and they are tired of the political elites represented by Governor [Steve] Beshear, who are out of touch with ordinary, God-loving citizens.”
Bevin's election capped off a night of 2015 election victories for social conservatives from Houston to Ohio, and beyond.
Republicans won four of six statewide offices last night, leading Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo to exhort his fellow Democrats to “go to church and challenge those people about values and morals.”
A recent poll showed that Kentucky voters reject gay “marriage” by a wide margin.