Bevin Calls Out Cartoon as Racist

The Lexington Herald-Leader published an editorial cartoon that Kentucky Gov.-elect Matt Bevin (R) called “deplorably racist,” according to the Louisville Courier Journal.

The cartoon shows Bevin hiding under his desk and an aide telling him, ‘Sir, they’re not terrorists… they’re your own adopted kids!”

Four of Bevin’s children were adopted from Africa.

The GOP’s Obamacare Experiment Begins

First Read: “Perhaps the most significant consequence of Republican Matt Bevin’s victory in Kentucky’s gubernatorial race last night is that it could result in the dismantling of maybe the most extensive (and successful) effort to implement Obamacare in the entire country… And that would give national Republicans a statewide experiment to see how — or simply if — you can rollback the law.”

“And so we’re likely to see a political fight play out in Kentucky that might even be bigger than yesterday’s gubernatorial contest: Bevin and Republicans will be trying to — choose your term — reform/rollback/dismantle the state’s health-care system under the federal law, while Democrats will argue that the effort will result in taking away people’s health insurance that they liked or didn’t have before.”

“Bottom line: The aftermath of last night could answer these questions for national Republicans: If you want to repeal the health-care law, how do you do it? How big will the blowback be to changing people’s health insurance? And can repeal even be done?”

Wonk Wire: Could an upset in Kentucky herald a rollback of Obamacare?

Bevin Wins Race for Kentucky Governor

Matt Bevin (R) soundly defeated Jack Conway (D) in the race for Kentucky governor, the AP reports.

New York Times: “In beating his Democratic opponent, Attorney General Jack Conway, Mr. Bevin surprised many in his own party, who believed that the climate in Kentucky was ripe for a Republican but feared that Mr. Bevin, a charismatic conservative with a go-it-alone style, was too far out of the mainstream and too inexperienced to win.”

Politico: “Bevin, a self-funding businessman who unsuccessfully challenged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in a primary last year, overcame a funding disadvantage and Kentucky’s Democratic lean in state races to become only the second Republican to win a gubernatorial election since the early 1970s.”

The Bluegrass State Showdown

First Read notes today’s marquee contest: Kentucky’s gubernatorial race between Jack Conway (D) and Matt Bevin (R).

“Back in the summer, we dubbed the race possibly the Last Obama War, because it largely hinges on this question: Whom do Kentucky voters dislike more — President Obama or the Tea Party? (Of course, we could also see this same dynamic play out in the Louisiana gubernatorial race on Nov. 21.) The Conway-Bevin race also has a lot at stake, too — the future of the state’s health-care exchange (Bevin says he will eliminate it), Rand Paul’s Senate seat in 2016 (if Democrats win, we bet you they’ll be emboldened to find a challenger to Paul), and Kim Davis and religious also have been issues in this race.”

Final polling places in Kentucky close at 6:00 pm ET (in the eastern part of the state) and 7:00 pm ET (in the central time zone).

Is Matt Bevin Trying to Lose the Governor’s Race?

Sam Youngman: “The Republican candidate’s sometimes bizarre behavior, oscillations on major policy issues and lack of advertising have all combined to make Bevin one of Democrat Jack Conway’s top allies with a month to go until Election Day.”

“That might help explain Bevin’s ill-advised and jaw-dropping decision to show up at Kentucky Democratic Party headquarters on Friday to complain to the receptionist about the sign KDP has outside its building questioning Bevin’s trustworthiness. It was Bevin’s second trip to the headquarters to complain about the sign.”

“Conway has certainly not set the world on fire with his campaign, vague policy proposals or charm. And he has taken much criticism for his campaign strategy of focusing on fundraising instead of traditional campaign rallies. But Bevin seems to be working very hard to make Conway’s campaign strategists look like geniuses.”

Are Republicans Giving Up in Kentucky?

The Republican Governor’s Association has stopped running television ads for Matt Bevin (R) in Kentucky with a little more than a month to go until Election Day, the AP reports.

“The association has spent $3 million on six ads for Bevin, mostly attacking his Democratic opponent, Jack Conway, for supporting the policies of Democratic President Barack Obama… The move is a blow for Bevin, who has aired just one TV ad after spending more than $1 million of his own money to win a four-way Republican primary in May.”

Bevin Won’t Raise Money

Kentucky gubernatorial candidate Matt Bevin (R), who is self-financing his campaign, “appears to be taking a pass on raising money for himself, saying in reply to the question about hiring that Kentucky hasn’t had a chance to elect ‘someone who is unencumbered by anybody and anything’ since Democrat John Y. Brown Jr. was elected in 1979,” the Louisville Courier Journal reports.

Said Bevin: “It is equally unnerving to Republicans and Democrats.”

Bevin Moves to Make Gay Marriage Key Issue of Race

Kentucky gubernatorial candidate Matt Bevin (R) said that he fully supports County Clerk Kim Davis’ right to refuse gay couples seeking marriage licenses, the Louisville Courier Journal reports.

Said Bevin: “I absolutely support her willingness to stand on her First Amendment rights. Without any question I support her.”

“The strong defense of Davis’ actions underscores how the GOP nominee hopes to make the fight over gay marriage a centerpiece of the 2015 governor’s race, which polling shows is a tight race between him and Democratic nominee Jack Conway.”

Bevin Declines to Endorse Paul

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) endorsed Matt Bevin (R) for Kentucky governor, but when asked later if he was backing Paul in his bid for the presidency, Bevin refused to say, the Louisville Courier Journal reports.

Said Bevin: “At this point, I’m running for governor and that’s what my focus is on. I am delighted that Rand is running, I have made very clear that I’m a supporter of that idea. I’m running for governor, I have made no endorsement whatsoever.”