Kentucky gubernatorial election, 2007

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Kentucky gubernatorial election, 2007

← 2003 November 6, 2007 2011 →
  Steve Beshear by Gage Skidmore.jpg Ernie Fletcher.jpg
Nominee Steve Beshear Ernie Fletcher
Party Democratic Republican
Running mate Daniel Mongiardo Robbie Rudolph
Popular vote 619,552 435,773
Percentage 58.7% 41.3%

Kentucky gubernatorial election 2007.svg
Results by county
Beshear:     30–40%      50–60%      60–70%      80–90%
Fletcher:      50–60%      70–80%      80–90%

Governor before election

Ernie Fletcher
Republican

Elected Governor

Steve Beshear
Democratic

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 Kentucky in December 2007 for a term through December 2011. A primary election to determine the Republican and Democratic nominees for governor was held on May 22, 2007 in which Ernie Fletcher (Republican) and Steve Beshear (Democrat) won their respective primaries.[1] Beshear's running mate, Daniel Mongiardo, was elected as Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky for that same time period.

Background[edit]

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 Kentucky and a special grand jury led 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 Ernie Fletcher: Merit system investigation) Fletcher's approval rating as of May 11, 2007 was at 38%,[2] putting him among the lowest governors in the nation.

Anne Northup, who was defeated for re-election 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, Kentucky State Treasurer 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).

Democratic primary[edit]

Candidates[edit]

  • 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.

Polling[edit]

Source Date Beshear (D) Galbraith (D) Henry (D) Hensley (D) Lunsford (D) Richards (D)
Survey USA May 18–20, 2007 32% 7% 17% 1% 23% 12%
Penn, Schoen and Berland May 16–17, 2007 26% N/A 13% N/A 22% 12%
GarinHartYang Research May 14–15, 2007 35% N/A 13% N/A 23% 12%
Survey USA May 12–14, 2007 32% 5% 18% 1% 23% 12%
Courier-Journal Bluegrass Poll May 10–14, 2007 27% 4% 13% 1% 21% 7% Miller (D)
Survey USA Apr 28-30, 2007 23% 6% 18% 1% 29% 9% 7%
Mellman Group Apr 19-22, 2007 15% N/A 24% N/A 16% 9% 20%
Survey USA Mar 31 – Apr 2, 2007 15% 8% 20% 1% 20% 12% 8%
Survey USA Mar 3-5, 2007 15% 6% 26% 2% 7% 13% 8%
GarinHartYang Research Feb 20-22, 2007 21% N/A 21% N/A 8% 16% 8%

Results[edit]

Democratic primary results[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Steve Beshear 142,838 41.02
Democratic Bruce Lunsford 74,578 21.42
Democratic Steve Henry 60,893 17.49
Democratic Jody Richards 45,433 13.05
Democratic Gatewood Galbraith 20,704 5.95
Democratic Otis Hensley 3,792 1.09
Total votes 348,238 100

Republican primary[edit]

Candidates[edit]

  • Running mate: Robbie Rudolph, State Secretary of Executive Cabinet, 2006–2007; State Secretary of Finance, 2003–2006.
  • Billy Harper – Businessman
  • Running mate: Dick Wilson.

Polling[edit]

Source Date Fletcher (R) Harper (R) Northup (R)
Survey USA May 18–20, 2007 44% 17% 34%
Courier-Journal Bluegrass Poll May 10–15, 2007 41% 10% 26%
Survey USA May 12–14, 2007 44% 14% 34%
Survey USA April 28–30, 2007 46% 14% 34%
Survey USA Mar 31 – Apr 2, 2007 40% 16% 31%
Survey USA Mar 3-5, 2007 33% 13% 31%
Public Opinion Strategies[4] Jan 28-29, 2007 39% 10% 39%

Results[edit]

Republican primary results[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Ernie Fletcher (Incumbent) 101,328 50.08
Republican Anne Northup 73,919 36.53
Republican Billy Harper 27,092 13.39
Total votes 202,339 100

General election[edit]

Polling[edit]

Source Date Beshear (D) Fletcher (R)
Survey USA Nov 2-4, 2007 59% 39%
Rasmussen Reports Nov 1, 2007 54% 39%
Survey USA Oct 27-29, 2007 60% 36%
Courier-Journal Bluegrass Poll Oct 26-29, 2007 56% 33%
Research 2000 Oct 22-24, 2007 55% 40%
Survey USA Oct 19-21, 2007 58% 38%
Survey USA Oct 8-9, 2007 56% 40%
Insider Advantage Sep 24-25, 2007 45% 35%
Courier-Journal Bluegrass Poll Sep 13-18, 2007 55% 35%
Preston-Osborne Sep 13-17, 2007 51% 36%
Research 2000 Sep 10-13, 2007 56% 39%
Survey USA Sep 8-10, 2007 58% 39%
Survey USA Aug 4-6, 2007 58% 37%
Preston-Osborne Jul 25 – Aug 2, 2007 49% 31%
Survey USA Jul 14-16, 2007 59% 36%
Insider Advantage Jul 8-9, 2007 41% 38%
Rasmussen Reports May 24–25, 2007 51% 35%
Survey USA May 23–24, 2007 62% 34%

Results[edit]

Image showing electoral support for candidates by county
Electoral support for candidates, by county[5]

Fletcher conceded to Beshear at 9:00 PM on November 6.

Kentucky gubernatorial election, 2007
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Steven Lynn Beshear/Frank Daniel Mongiardo 619,553 58.71% +13.74%
Republican Ernest Lee Fletcher/Robbie Rudolph (Incumbent) 435,772 41.29% -13.74%
Majority 183,781 17.41% +7.34%
Total votes 1,055,325
Democratic gain from Republican Swing
Turnout 37.8%[6] -2.4%

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Candidates
Information