Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Voters give Kentucky Democrats something to celebrate

By Sara Burton
University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Telecommunications

Music was playing, signs were waving, and the feeling of success engulfed the room as Gov. Steve Beshear and running mate Jerry Abramsom brought home a win for the Democrats Tuesday night at the Frankfort Convention Center.   

Paving the way for the newly elected officials were the early sweeps by Auditor-elect Adam Edelen, Attorney General Jack Conway, Secretary of State-elect Alison Lundergan Grimes and Treasurer Todd Hollenbach.   

Supporters who attended the rally were in high spirits throughout the night.  Kentucky Education Association President and high-school math teacher Sharron Oxendine said she expects Beshear’s second term to be beneficial to the education system.

Other supporters said Beshear’s promises about jobs were what concerned them. Government worker Stacy Peyton, 72, said she believes Beshear will follow through with his jobs plan and expects great things from the governor in the next four years.

In his victory speech, Beshear said, "I will fight for a world-class education for every child, for every child! My top priority is to create a job for every Kentuckian. . . . As your governor, I will reach out to elected officials of every party and put party labels aside." Earlier, the crowd booed when Republican nominee David Williams appeared on TV to concede.

Conway told the crowd, "We won this race solely because we focused together on what it means to be attorney general in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. And we have those on the other side who wanted to make it about Washington stunts and Washington political games." Conway's opponent, Hopkins County Attorney Todd P'Pool, tried to tie him to President Obama.

Grimes, the only woman elected tonight, said, "This victory is for you girls." Referring to her support of voter registration for the homeless, opposed by Republican nominee Bill Johnson, she said "I will make sure all Kentuckians' voices are heard, whether they live in Park Plaza or on a park bench."

Hollenbach said, "Government's not just about cutting. The government can still make a difference in people's lives."

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