(WAVE) - Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin announced Thursday that he won’t contest the results of the recanvass that took place Thursday, nine days after a nailbiting election night that ended with Democratic challenger Andy Beshear ahead by approximately 5,000 votes.
“We’re going to have a change in the governorship,” Bevin told media gathered at his office in Frankfort. “I’m not gonna contest these numbers.”
The Associated Press reported that in 112 of 120 Kentucky counties, only a one-vote change was reported in Casey County. All other counties reported no changes in Thursday’s recanvass.
Attorney General Beshear already has begun his transition procedures.
“I wish Attorney General Beshear well as he transitions to his new role,” Bevin said of Beshear, whose father Steve Beshear served as governor for two terms before Bevin was elected in 2015.
Beshear spoke about an hour after Bevin did, and thanked his rival following a lengthy and often contentious race.
“This was a tough race and it is now over, and I appreciate (Bevin’s) administration already moving forward in a smooth transition,” he said. “I appreciate Gov. Bevin’s concession."
Beshear made more than one mention Thursday of the need for unity, changing the tone of discourse and trying to rid the state of any lingering divisions.
“The race is now officially over, which means we can look forward and we can move forward,” Beshear said. “It is time that we come together as a Commonwealth."
Beshear said he’s already getting to work on the budget, and even mentioned sports gaming as one possible solution that could help the state’s financial woes.
“We have already reached out and are receiving information that will help us build our first budget,” Beshear said, adding that Bevin’s team has been helpful in sharing guidance on the budget in recent days.
Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes spoke to reporters just after Bevin’s concession, addressing the 24th recanvass in state history.
“As expected, it did not alter the outcome for the 2019 election,” she said. “There have been no changes.”
Grimes added that Beshear’s final margin of victory was 5,136 votes.
“Attorney General Beshear will be the 63rd governor of the Commowealth of Kentucky,” she said. “What this continues to show is that Kentuckians and Americans should have confidence in this process. Our elections are about more than one person.”