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The Latest: GOP leader cautions Bevin about election dispute

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin announces his intent to call for a recanvass of the voting results from Tuesday's gubernatorial elections during a press conference at the Governor's Mansion in Frankfort, Ky., Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The Latest on the Kentucky governor’s election (all times local):

4:15 p.m.

The Kentucky Senate’s top leader says Republican Gov. Matt Bevin should concede to Democrat Andy Beshear if a recanvass doesn’t significantly alter the vote count from Tuesday.

Senate President Robert Stivers said Friday that Bevin’s request for a recanvass of election results is appropriate. But without a significant change, the Republican lawmaker said it would be appropriate for Bevin to conclude “the election is over.”

With 100% of precincts reporting, Beshear led by a little over 5,000 votes out of more than 1.4 million counted.

The recanvass is set for Nov. 14 to verify the vote count.

Bevin’s recourse after that would be to contest the election, putting the outcome in lawmakers’ hands. Stivers said it would be a “very high bar” for Bevin to have any chance of prevailing.

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2:40 p.m.

Preparing to assume the Kentucky governor’s post, Democrat Andy Beshear faces the new challenge of dealing with a Republican-dominated legislature determined to set its own agenda.

Although incumbent Matt Bevin has refused to concede after Tuesday’s results showed him trailing by more than 5,000 votes, Beshear has pivoted toward preparing to govern ahead of the Dec. 10 inauguration.

Beshear has started reaching out to GOP lawmakers whose help he’d need to pass many of his proposals.

His ambitious plans on education, health care and expanded gambling will run into a solidly conservative legislature.

In a postelection radio interview, Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer said lawmakers will take the lead on a variety of issues. He said one example is a bill to make sanctuary cities illegal in Kentucky.

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