Politics & Government

Voter Guide: There’s an election Tuesday. Meet the candidates and make your picks.

Election Day in Kentucky is almost here, so it’s time to start paying attention and pick your candidates.

The primary election for governor, which will determine the Democratic and Republican nominees for the state’s highest office, tops Tuesday’s ballot.

Here’s our guide to the candidates running for governor, along with overview stories on the other races for Kentucky’s constitutional offices and a five-way primary for a Fayette Circuit Court judgeship.

We hope this helps inform you and motivates you to vote Tuesday, no matter which candidates you pick. Then come back to Kentucky.com Tuesday night for live election results and analysis.


Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin attracted several opponents in his reelection bid. In the Republican primary he’s facing State Rep. Robert Goforth, R-East Bernstadt; Ike Lawrence and William Woods. There are four Democrats competing to take him on as well: House Minority Floor Leader Rocky Adkins, Attorney General Andy Beshear, former state auditor Adam Edelen and Geoff Young.

Republican race overview: Gov. Matt Bevin is unpopular. Here’s why he’s still expected to win the GOP primary.

Democratic race overview: Here’s what you need to know about the Democrats running for Kentucky governor

Rocky Adkins profile: ‘Raised in the hills.’ Can Rocky Adkins ride his rural Democratic roots to victory?

Andy Beshear profile: Andy Beshear has beaten Matt Bevin in the courtroom. But can he win in a campaign?

Adam Edelen profile: ‘He’s a politician.’ Adam Edelen has long dreamed of being governor. Is this his moment?

Attorney General

Former Attorney General Greg Stumbo is running unopposed in the Democratic primary, but there are two Republicans vying for the opportunity to take him on in the general election: Daniel Cameron, a former lawyer for U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, and Wil Schroder, a state senator from Wilder.

Race overview: McConnell ally trading elbows with state senator in GOP primary for attorney general

Secretary of State

There are eight candidates hoping to replace Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, who could not seek reelection. On the Democratic side there’s Jason Belcher, Jason Griffith, Heather French Henry and Geoff Sebasta. On the Republican side there’s Michael Adams, Andrew English, Stephen Knipper and Carl Nett.

Race overview: Lawmakers cut Grimes’ power as secretary of state. Now these 8 people want her job.

State Auditor

Auditor of Public Accounts Mike Harmon is running unopposed in the Republican primary, but he’s drawn three potential Democratic challengers: Kelsey Hays Coots, Sheri Donahue and Chris Tobe. Democrat Drew Curtis, of Versailles, withdrew from the race but his name will still appear on the ballot because the ballots were already printed. Votes for him will not be counted.

Race overview: Meet the three Democrats aiming to end Republican Mike Harmon’s role as state auditor

Agriculture Commissioner

Republican incumbent Ryan Quarles drew a primary challenge in his reelection bid from Bill Polyniak of Lexington. There also are two Democrats competing for the chance to take on Quarles this fall: Robert Haley Conway of Georgetown and Joe Trigg of Glasgow.

Race overview: What’s the future for hemp and pot in Kentucky? Farm chief candidates speak out.

State Treasurer

Republican incumbent Allison Ball is running unopposed but has drawn two Democratic opponents: Michael Bowman of Louisville and Josh Mers of Lexington.

Race overview: Three people are seeking this $124,113-a-year state office, which some want abolished

Fayette Circuit Court Judge

In Lexington, voters will narrow the field for a Fayette Circuit Court judgeship vacated by Pamela Goodwine, who was elected to the Kentucky Court of Appeals. There are five candidates running in the non-partisan race: Circuit Judge John Reynolds (who holds the seat after being appointed by Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin), District Judge Julie Muth Goodman, Todd Page, Thomas Todd and Steven Stadler.

Race overview: Who will be the next Fayette County Circuit Court judge? Meet the five candidates.

Voter info

Polls are open 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Anyone in line by 6 p.m. may vote.

Voters must produce identification or be known by a precinct officer before voting.

To find out if you are registered to vote and where you vote, visit GoVoteKY.com.

If you see problems, call the state attorney general’s election fraud hot line, 1-800-328-8683.

Election results on Kentucky.com

Get live results on all contested races starting at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Follow @bgpolitics on Twitter for election updates.