Matt Bevin wins Republican nomination for Kentucky Governor

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(WBKO/AP) -- Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin has cleared his first hurdle toward a second term, defeating three challengers to win the Republican nomination.

Bevin beat three Republican challengers in Tuesday's primary election. They were state Rep. Robert Goforth, William Woods and Ike Lawrence.

The governor is an ally of President Donald Trump, who remains a popular political force in the state. The governor's strong showing Tuesday gives him a boost heading into the fall campaign in a state that has trended overwhelmingly toward the GOP.

At least among Republican voters, Bevin overcame a series of self-inflicted political wounds from his feud with groups representing public school teachers. Bevin's approval ratings had slumped after his failed attempt to change the state's struggling public pension systems.

Bevin's campaign manager Davis Paine released the following statement on the primary election results:

“The contrast in this election could not be more clear. The leadership of President Trump and Governor Bevin has grown the economy resulting in over 50,000 jobs leading to the lowest unemployment in Kentucky history. Andy Beshear brags about voting for Hillary Clinton and will oppose the President at every opportunity. While Governor Bevin is moving our state forward, Andy Beshear is a failed Frankfort career politician who will bring Kentucky back to the failed liberal policies of yesterday.”

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