Democratic State Treasurer Todd Hollenbach squeaked by his Republican challenger in Tuesday's closest race to win another four-year term.
KC Crosbie, a member of the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council, won her home county of Fayette and trailed Hollenbach by fewer than five percentage points through most of the night.
In the end, Hollenbach's incumbent status and name recognition in his hometown of Louisville brought him enough votes to win by two percentage points.
"It's a victory for those people who believe in effective, efficient, affordable and accountable government," said Hollenbach, who often touted his cost-cutting measures in the treasurer's office and the return of a record $50 million in unclaimed property to Kentucky residents.
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Hollenbach also credited the strength of Gov. Steve Beshear and other Democrats on the ticket.
"It was a good hard race, and he led with strength," Hollenbach said of Beshear. "It would be silly to suggest that was not helpful."
Crosbie raised more money than Hollenbach in the last weeks of the campaign and made several TV commercials in the final days.
Her speeches combined frequent criticism of Hollenbach with touting her experience on the Urban County Council.
In her concession speech, Crosbie thanked her family and the people who worked for her campaign, and said she would "look for ways to help this great state in the future."
"I'm really happy with the race I ran," she said afterward.
Crosbie, who has been mentioned as a rising star in the Republican Party, said she had no immediate political plans. She has another year left on her term on the Urban County Council.
"I look forward to working hard for the Seventh District," she said.
Libertarian Ken Moellman, who campaigned to eliminate the seat he was seeking, placed a distant third.
Moellman said the state treasurer, who issues the millions of checks cut by the state, should be an appointed position rather than an elected one.
Moellman won 5 percent of the vote.
"We ran a campaign on an issue that was different than the other two candidates," Moellman said. "We worked hard on a very limited budget, and I think now a strong case is there."