Bevin’s victory shows Americans are frustrated with establishment



If Kentucky voters wanted a drastic change for governor, that is exactly what they got with Matt Bevin.

The Louisville businessman surprisingly topped Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway in the race for the governor’s seat.

Bevin will become the second Republican Kentucky governor in the last four decades.

Bevin first came to fame in Kentucky politics during his failed bid for the Republican nomination in the 2014 Senate race. During the campaign he demonstrated the qualities of a far-right Tea Party conservative. Kentucky is the exception among Southeastern states in that it typically votes for Democratic candidates in statewide elections.

For Kentucky voters to not only elect a Republican, but one who is further to the right than most, should signify a changing attitude in our country — that voters are sick of the current political system.

We see this on the national level with the success of Donald Trump. And Bevin is in many ways Kentucky’s own version of Trump. A businessman who has never held office and shoots from the hip, he can be a reporter’s dream or worst nightmare.

One of his more infamous run-ins with Kentucky journalists came after the EKU debate. Bevin blatantly refused to answer a question from Lexington Herald-Leader political writer Sam Youngman, to which another reporter noticed and confronted him. Shortly afterward he argued with UK journalism professor and veteran political writer Al Cross.

Despite his lack of experience as an elected official, Bevin is not completely unqualified to be governor. He displayed superb wit and public speaking abilities during the debates, and clearly understands how to manage businesses and create economic opportunity.

But he has also shown to be short tempered and stubborn, problematic qualities for someone whose new job will require to negotiate and consider the opinions of others. Bevin is indeed a drastic change for Kentucky. Only time will tell whether voters will benefit from that decision, or regret it.