Kentucky AG’s and Governor’s Races Go to Voters to Decide

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FRANKFORT, LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – The campaign for Kentucky governor ends Tuesday as voters elect someone to replace a two-term Democrat in a race that has turned on health insurance for 500,000 people, marriage licenses for same-sex couples and public education for preschool children.

Republican Matt Bevin, Democrat Jack Conway and independent Drew Curtis have contrasted sharply in a race watched closely for its proximity to the 2016 presidential election and for its competitiveness in one of the nation’s last two-party states.

The two major-party candidates and their allies have spent more than $14 million to air more than 41,000 TV ads in Kentucky, according to an analysis by the Center for Public Integrity. That does not include direct mail or ads on radio or local cable systems.

Kentucky’s campaign for attorney general turned into a verbal sparring match between Democrat Andy Beshear and Republican Whitney Westerfield over qualifications, a critical job evaluation and one candidate’s familiar last name.

The matter goes to voters Tuesday. The outcome, however, might hinge on voters’ assessment of a Kentuckian not on the ballot.

Beshear is the son of two-term Gov. Steve Beshear. Andy Beshear insists he’s standing on his own record as a candidate. Westerfield says his opponent capitalized on his last name to rake in campaign cash.

The big-spending attorney general’s campaign tops the list of down-ballot races for statewide offices in Tuesday’s election in Kentucky.