Northern Kentucky officials say Bevin's ground game in the area a key in sweeping the three-county region

05/22/2015 04:51 PM

Northern Kentucky proved a key area for Matt Bevin in his unofficial GOP gubernatorial victory.

In Boone, Kenton and Campbell counties, Bevin got 10,326 votes, roughly 54 percent of all of the votes cast in northern Kentucky. James Comer received nearly 5,000 votes despite having state Sen. Chris McDaniel of Kenton County as a running mate. Hal Heiner got 3,510 votes in the three counties.

The three county clerks in northern Kentucky say there were definite reasons why Bevin did so well in the northern part of the state.

Boone County Clerk Kenny Brown said that Bevin’s campaign strategy was solid from top to bottom.

“Matt Bevin had a complete campaign up here,” said Brown, who backed Bevin in the primary. “He had the ground game. He had the air game with media and the mail. He was supportive of the people on the ground here where the other two campaigns, either one was an extreme all media, like Hal Heiner, or really a lackadaisical ground game, for lack of a better term, and no air cover at all to support the folks on the ground for the Comer team.”

Another of the major election night surprises was the poor showing of James Comer in Kenton County, the home county of his running mate Chris McDaniel. Bevin led in the county with nearly 4,000 votes to Comer’s 2500. Hal Heiner was a distant third with more a little more than 1200 votes.

Kenton County Clerk Gabrielle Summe believed that allegations of physical and mental abuse against Comer by his ex-girlfriend, and the Comer camp saying that the Heiner campaign was behind promoting those allegations, made Bevin the more attractive alternative with many Kenton County voters.

“I believe that any kind of allegations like those really do have an affect, Summe said. “Being a political person, I’m a little more suspect of things that come in at the last minute because they’re intended to do what they obviously did. So, I’m very suspect about those kind of issues. But, for a lot of people, that’s the first time that they’re hearing it, and the way it’s delivered to them, they may not seek to find out if that’s the truth or not.”

In Campbell County, 10 percent of the registered voters went to the polls and Bevin again walked away with more than half of all ballots cast in the region. Comer had just over 23 percent and Heiner wound up with 18 percent.

Campbell County Clerk Jim Leursen felt that the Bevin campaign had a better supporting staff than the other candidates.

“I think he had probably the best support staff, the best group of campaigners, the ones that worked the hardest,” Leursen said. “He had more signs up than anybody. The Bevin people got the people out to vote, and I think that made the difference in Campbell County.”

Don Weber

Don Weber is a Video Journalist for Spectrum News and covers politics and education on Pure Politics, Kentucky’s only nightly program dedicated to state politics. Don is a lifelong Kentuckian and a graduate of Northern Kentucky University. He spent many years covering sports in the Northern Kentucky area before shifting primarily to politics. You can watch Don’s work weeknights at 7:00 and 11:30 on Pure Politics, available exclusively on Spectrum News, HD Channels 403 and 715. If you have a story idea you can reach Don at donald.weber@charter.com.

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