- Kentucky gubernatorial election, 2007
election_name = Kentucky gubernatorial election, 2007
country = Kentucky
type = presidential
ongoing = no
previous_election = Kentucky gubernatorial election, 2003
previous_year = 2003
next_election = Kentucky gubernatorial election, 2010
next_year = 2010
November 6, 2007
party1 = Democratic Party (United States)
popular_vote1 = 619,552
percentage1 = 58.71%
party2 = Republican Party (United States)
popular_vote2 = 435,773
percentage2 = 41.29%
title = Governor
before_party = Republican Party (United States)
after_party = Democratic Party (United States)The Kentucky gubernatorial election, 2007 was held on
November 6, 2007. In this election, incumbent Republican Governor Ernie Fletcher lost to Democratic challenger Steve Beshear, who therefore began serving as Governor of Kentuckyin December 2007 for a term through December 2011. Beshear's running mate, Daniel Mongiardo, now serves as Lieutenant Governor of Kentuckyfor that same time period.
Primary Electionto determine the Republican and Democratic nominees for governor was held on May 22, 2007in which Ernie Fletcher(Republican) and Steve Beshear(Democrat) won their respective primaries [http://www.lex18.com/Global/story.asp?S=6554860&nav=EQlp LEX18 - Lexington, KY - News, Weather, Sports - Fletcher, Beshear To Face Off In Nov ] ] .
Fletcher came under increasing criticism from both parties after his involvement in a state employee hiring controversy, in which Fletcher was accused of illegally hiring civil service employees for their political affiliations and loyalties. An investigation by the
Attorney General of Kentuckyand a special grand juryled to the indictment of 13 Fletcher administration officials. Fletcher issued a blanket pardon for anyone in his administration (other than himself) who was or may have been involved in the scandal. Fletcher himself was later indicted by a grand jury for three misdemeanors: conspiracy, official misconduct and political discrimination. All were related to the merit system investigation. On August 24, 2006, Fletcher reached a deal with the Attorney General's office that led to the dismissal of the charges in exchange for Fletcher's acknowledgment that "the evidence strongly indicates wrongdoing by his administration with regard to personnel actions within the merit system. Further, the governor hereby states that these actions were inappropriate and that he regrets their occurrence and accepts responsibility for them as head of the executive branch of state government." (See ) Fletcher's approval rating as of May 11, 2007was at 38% [http://www.surveyusa.com/client/PollReport.aspx?g=1ce793b4-b38b-4fe7-9b01-97934b8979d8] , putting him among the lowest governors in the nation. Anne Northup, who was defeated for reelection to the House of Representatives in 2006, and Paducah businessman Billy Harper challenged Fletcher in the Republican primary. Both had supported and worked for Fletcher's 2003 campaign. Despite his troubles, Fletcher was able to fend off the primary challenge, winning a majority of the vote (see below).
On the Democratic side, an increasingly competitive primary campaign developed. Louisville businessman Bruce Lunsford spent over five million dollars, most of it being his own money, in the campaign. On
May 7, Jonathan Miller withdrew from the race and endorsed Steve Beshear. Lunsford, Beshear, State House Speaker Jody Richards, and former Lt. Governor Steve Henry consistently polled significantly ahead of the other candidates. Given the crowded field, many believed a runoff election was likely between the top two finishers--which polls suggested would be Beshear and Lunsford--if no candidate was able to obtain at least 40% of the vote. Beshear, however, was able to avoid a runoff with 40.9% (see below).
Ernie Fletcher- Incumbent Governor of Kentucky, 2003-Present; former U.S. Representativefor Kentucky's 6th congressional district, 1999-2003; former St. Representative, 1995-1997:*Running mate: Robbie Rudolph, State Secretary of Executive Cabinet, 2006-2007; State Secretary of Finance, 2003-2006.
Steve Beshear- Former Lt. Governor of Kentucky, 1983-1987; former Attorney General of Kentucky, 1979-1983; former St. Representative, 1974-1979.:*Running mate: St. Senator Daniel Mongiardo, 2001-2007.
Candidates who ran and lost in their primary
*Billy Harper - Businessman from West Paducah. :*Running mate: Dick Wilson.
Anne Northup- Former U.S. Representativefor Kentucky's 3rd congressional district, 1997-2007; former St. Representative, 1987-1997.:*Running mate: St. Representative Jeff Hoover, 1997-Present.
Gatewood Galbraith- Attorney, Frequent Candidate:*Running mate: Mark Wireman
Otis Hensley- Private contractor from Wallins Creek, Kentucky who received 3% of the vote in the Democratic primary in 2003.:*Running mate: Richard Robbins
Bruce Lunsford- prominent Louisville businessman; unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic nomination for Governor of Kentucky in 2003.:*Running mate: Greg Stumbo, Attorney General of Kentucky2003-Present; former St. Representative, 1985-2003.
Jody Richards- St. Representative, 1975-Present (Speaker of the House, 1996-Present); received 47% of the vote in the Democratic primary for Governor of Kentuckyin 2003.:*Running mate: John Y. Brown III, Kentucky Secretary of State 1995-2003.
Fletcher conceded to Beshear at 9:00 PM on November 6.
Election box candidate with party link
party = Democratic Party (US)
votes = 619,553
percentage = 58.7
change = +13.75Election box candidate with party link
party = Republican Party (US)
votes = 435,772
percentage = 41.3
change = -13.75Election box majority
votes = 183,781
percentage = 17.4
change = Election box turnout
votes = 1,055,325
percentage = 37.1
change = Election box gain with party link
winner = Democratic Party (US)
loser = Republican Party (US)
* [http://www.kentuckyregistrar.net/list.solutions.asp?catId=5 Kentucky Secretary of State Filing Report]
* [http://www.courier-journal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070523/NEWS0106/70523008 Louisville Courier-Journal recap of Democratic primary]
* [http://www.courier-journal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070523/NEWS0106/70523009 Louisville Courier-Journal recap of Republican primary]
* [http://electionresults.ky.gov/KyElectWeb/index.jsp Unofficial Election results (live returns)]
Major party nominees
* [http://www.stevebeshear.com/ Steve Beshear for Governor (Democrat)]
* [http://www.erniefletcher.com/ Ernie Fletcher for Governor (Republican)]
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