LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Republican Matt Bevin has defeated Democrat Jack Conway to become only the second Republican governor in the state in four decades.
Independent Drew Curtis was a distant third in Tuesday's election.
Republicans have dominated federal elections in Kentucky, but moderate Democrats have maintained control of state government. Bevin's election gives Republicans control of the executive branch along with a commanding majority in the state Senate. Democrats still have an eight-seat majority in the state House of Representatives.
Focus will almost immediately shift to the state House elections in 2016, where U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell has vowed to flex his powerful fundraising muscle to help Republicans to take over the only Southern state legislative body controlled by Democrats.