McConnell: Bevin 'had a good 4 years,' but likely lost

GHENT, Ky. (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin "had a good four years," but he says a review of Bevin's narrow reelection defeat is unlikely to change the outcome.

Bevin trailed Democrat Andy Beshear by about 5,000 votes in the Nov. 5 election. A re-canvass of votes is scheduled Thursday.

McConnell was in Carroll County on Monday to tout a US-Spain treaty he helped pass that cut the taxes for the North American Stainless plant there. McConnell said the treaty helped the company avoid a $35 million tax payment.

While there, McConnell said he's "sorry Matt came up short." He said the re-canvass is unlikely to change the election results, and that "barring some dramatic reversal on the re-canvass, we'll have a different governor in three weeks."

Bevin has refused to concede and cited voting irregularities in the governor's race but has not provided evidence. Some Republican leaders have said Bevin should accept the results of the re-canvass if Beshear's lead holds.

"My first election was almost the same number of votes that Beshear won by. We had a re-canvass, added them up, it didn't change and we all moved on," McConnell said.

McConnell was asked whether he was concerned about the results of the governor's race ahead of his own reelection effort next year. Republicans won all the down-ticket races in Kentucky, despite Bevin's apparent defeat.

"Well, we'll find out, because the 2020 election is underway already," McConnell said. He mentioned an ad aired by Democrat Amy McGrath, who has announced she will run in next year's U.S. Senate race.

McConnell was also asked about a second potential Democrat challenger, broadcaster Matt Jones, who was pulled off his radio show last week after the state Republican party filed a complaint alleging Jones was using his show to promote himself. McConnell said his campaign had nothing to do with the Federal Election Commission complaint.

"I'm not going to get into (talking about) the Democratic primary, I'll be happy to run against whoever wins the nomination," he said.

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This story has been corrected to give the exact wording of a McConnell quote about election results.