Congratulations to governor-elect Matt Bevin for pulling off one of the biggest outsider victories ever.
Bevin, who will be only the second Republican governor in 44 years, rode a rising tide of Republican loyalty in Kentucky that also defeated Democratic Auditor Adam Edelen.
After emerging from the May primary with just an 83-vote edge and a divided Republican Party, Bevin waged an unconventional campaign that left Republican insiders scratching their heads and wondering why he wasn't calling them.
Bevin and the other Republicans benefitted from ads run by the Republican Governors Association linking Democrat Jack Conway to President Barack Obama who is despised in much of rural Kentucky.
Like Obama, Conway carried Lexington and Louisville but not by the margins he needed.
Bevin also embraced Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, appealing to social conservatives who fear gay marriage and religious oppression.
But we'd like to think that Bevin pulled it off by promising a fresh start. As he traveled the state, he assured voters that he would go to Frankfort free of any obligations to anyone.
At a time when many are fed up with politics as usual, Bevin's prickliness and provocative statements might have been an asset.
Bevin's choice of running mates, Jenean Hampton, enabled Kentuckians to make history by electing the first black to a statewide office. (It might also have cut into Conway's margins in Louisville and Lexington.)
Now Bevin, who has little more than a month to put together a team to run state government, inherits a mixed bag.
Looming foremost are the state's grossly underfunded public pension systems and an antiquated tax system that fails to capture growth in the economy.
The state's 5 percent unemployment rate is the lowest in 15 years, and 80,000 jobs have been created in Kentucky since the depths of the recession.
But coal jobs will never come back to the mountains in any substantial numbers. And Kentucky remains a poor state where individual incomes lag the nation and a greater percent of the population is chronically sick or disabled.
Nonetheless, Bevin has promised to drug-test food-stamp recipients and roll back and remake Democratic policies that provided health insurance to an additional 500,000 Kentuckians.
Kentuckians have elected a governor who promised radical change. Hang on to your hats.