Voters in Frankfort were concerned about the state pension plan, public education and more at the polls on Tuesday.
Democrat Andy Beshear, who declared victory around 10 p.m. Tuesday, campaigned heavily on these issues and received the majority of the votes in Franklin County. Incumbent Republican Matt Bevin, however, did not concede as of 10 p.m. Tuesday and The Associated Press deemed the race "too close to call."
“My husband and many, many family members are part of the pension system,” 38-year-old voter Bonnie Groce said. “And I recognize the huge deficit has not been one party’s fault, it’s been a long-standing issue, but I feel like they’re not resolving it in a way by taking it from other people.
“We’d like to see them fund the pension system with more money, versus taking it away from retirees who are all part of our family who are losing out on their income that they did earn and pay into.”
Groce voted at Franklin County High School on Tuesday, with her children in tow.
“We want them to know it's important to vote, no matter who you vote for, that it’s a right we’ve earned as a nation,” she said.
The Bellamy family — Corey and Latrese along with their adult children Moriah and Serena — vote as a family every year and were also concerned about state pensions at the Franklin County Fiscal Court polling place Tuesday.
They were hopeful that their candidates of choice would win the election, but Serena Bellamy, 27, added: “Just with elections in general, you never know sometimes.”
For the Bellamy family, voting is more than just a civic duty.
“It has been important to us as African Americans that we bring our children to vote as well,” said Corey Bellamy, 51. “Some have lived in different precincts, but those of us that live in the same household we like to come and vote, so we can, No. 1, do our civic duty and, No. 2, pay respects to our elders that have come before us. Especially those who lost their lives for the right to vote.”
Voting is also important to 51-year-old Leo Williamson. He’s voted in every election since he was 18, but he was feeling burned out and frustrated with politics and democracy on Tuesday.
“This isn’t really an election about issues,” he said. “This is an election about personalities and voting for the person you fear the least as opposed to voting for the person I want in office. That’s the way I feel. It’s unfortunate in a democracy to have to feel like that, but that’s how I feel.”
Williamson added it is depressing when the best candidates, in his opinion, aren’t running. He expressed he was not hopeful the candidates he voted for would win the election.
Carlos Felix, 38, was also not hopeful that his top candidates would win.
“I think this is going to be a much closer election than what a lot of people are thinking,” he said.
Unofficial results from the Franklin County Clerk’s Office show 21,175 ballots were cast in Franklin County on Tuesday. With nearly 38,000 registered voters in Franklin County according to Franklin County Clerk Jeff Hancock, roughly 55.7% of Franklin County voters participated in Tuesday's election.
Unofficial results show Franklin County voters overwhelmingly voted for Democratic Gov. and Lt. Gov. nominees Beshear and Jacqueline Coleman with 12,888 votes, or 61.5%. Incumbent and Republican Gov. and Lt. Gov nominees Bevin and Ralph A. Alvarado received 7,570 votes, or 36.1%. Libetarian Gov. and Lt. Gov nominees John Hicks and Ann Cormican received 493 votes, or 2.4%.
For the secretary of state race, Democrat Heather French Henry received 13,267 votes, or 63.6%, in Franklin County while Republican Michael G. Adams received 7,589 votes, or 36.4%, according to the unofficial results for Franklin County.
In the attorney general’s race, Democrat Gregory D. Stumbo received 11,155 votes, or 54%, while Republican Daniel Cameron received 9,511 votes, or 46%, in Franklin County, according to the unofficial results.
In the auditor of public accounts’ race, Democrat Sheri Donahue upset incumbent Republican Mike Harmon with 10,539 votes, or 51.4%, and 9,266 votes, or 45.2%, respectively, according to the unofficial results for Franklin County. Libetarian Kyle Hugenberg received 695 votes, or 3.4%.
In the state treasurer’s race, Republican Allison Ball received 10,631 votes, or 51.6%, with Democrat Michael Bowman receiving 9,968 votes, or 48.4%, according to the unofficial results for Franklin County.
Republican incumbent Ryan F. Quarles received 11,794 votes, or 56.8%, in Franklin County on Tuesday while Democratic challenger Robert Haley Conway and Libertarian challenger Josh Gilpin received 8,425 votes, or 40.6%, and 536 votes, or 2.6%, respectively, in the race for commissioner of agriculture, according to the unofficial results.