The Richmond Register

Local News

November 7, 2007

Beshear crushes Fletcher by wide margin

FRANKFORT — Steve Beshear cruised to an easy 18-point win over incumbent Republican Gov. Ernie Fletcher, crushing hopes for the Republican Party to hold onto the governor’s office for a second term.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Beshear had 619,567 votes or 59 percent, to Fletcher’s 435,856 votes or 41 percent. Turnout was just over 36 percent.

Beshear led from the very start, and early on the only question was whether his margin would eclipse previous governors’ winning margins or provide enough coattails to pull down Republican Secretary of State Trey Grayson and Republican Commissioner of Agriculture Richie Farmer.

It was big enough for Beshear, but not enough to sweep Bruce Hendrickson into a victory over Grayson or David Lynn Williams of Glasgow over Farmer.

“Folks, the people of this state have spoken and they have handed the reins of this government to us,” Beshear said as confetti fell from the ceiling of the Frankfort Convention Center. He commended Fletcher’s “graciousness” in his concession speech and wished him and his wife, Glenna, well.

“Tomorrow, we’re all going to be Kentuckians, and my friends, we need everybody, and I mean everybody, those who voted for me and those who voted against me, if we’re going to make this commonwealth a better place to live,” Beshear told the crowd of jubilant Democrats.

“Tonight we celebrate, but tomorrow begins the hard work of governing,” he said.

Fletcher spent much of his concession speech touting his accomplishments, but he wished Beshear good luck and said his victory — after “the challenges we’ve faced” — give him an opportunity to build on “a new era” in Frankfort.

“Voters have made up their minds and I accept their decision,” Fletcher said. “My days in office didn’t end as I like, but I learned many things that will serve (wife) Glenna and me well in our future.

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