Associated Press

A GOP surge swept the state during Tuesday's election, winning Republicans the hard-fought race for Governor and ousting the incumbent Democratic state auditor:

GOVERNOR: Businessman Matt Bevin led the Republican takeover of Kentucky politics, winning election as only the second GOP governor in four decades. Bevin defeated Democrat Jack Conway with 52 percent of the vote. Independent Drew Curtis was a distant third with just more than 3 percent. Bevin cast himself as an outsider, in both government and politics. The 48-year-old investment manager has never held public office. Bevin's campaign was mostly self-funded, and he preferred to speak to small gatherings of voters instead of courting influential donors. His running mate, Jenean Hampton, is a retired Air Force officer who moved to Kentucky from Detroit. Her only political experience is a lopsided loss to the former speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives in 2014. Now, Hampton will become the first black person to ever hold statewide office in Kentucky.

Here is a look at Kentucky's top races in Tuesday's general election, from the contest for governor at the top of the ticket to down-ballot races for statewide offices:

GOVERNOR: Democrat Jack Conway and Republican Matt Bevin square off in the race to become Kentucky's next governor in a pivotal off-year election. The winner succeeds Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear, who could not seek re-election because of term limits. The campaign turned into a referendum on President Barack Obama's signature health care law. Outgoing Gov. Steve Beshear used an executive order to expand the state's Medicaid program to cover an additional 400,000 Kentucky residents and create a health exchange, where more than 100,000 people have purchased discounted health plans with the help of federal subsidies. Bevin, a Louisville businessman, has promised to scale back the expansion and eliminate the exchange, saying taxpayers can't afford it. Conway, the state's two-term attorney general, has called Bevin's plan "callous" and said he would keep both programs. Independent candidate Drew Curtis was also on the ballot for governor.

Democrat Jack Conway has significantly increased his TV ad spending in the final month of his campaign for governor.

Conway's campaign has spent $2.5 million to air more than 7,000 TV ads through Monday according to an analysis by the Center for Public Integrity. Republican Matt Bevin has spent $1.3 million to air more than 4,500 ads.

That's up about $200,000 for Bevin from two weeks ago, but Conway's total jumped by about $800,000 in that time.

The data doesn't include radio, online or direct mail ads or TV ads aired on local cable systems. The estimates also don't include production costs.

Conway has $2.3 million in cash available to spend according to the latest disclosure reports. Bevin has more than $674,000 available, most coming from his personal wealth.

Authorities have arrested one of three people wanted in connection with the shooting death of a man found in a Pulaski County cabin.

The Pulaski County Sheriff's Office tells local media that 25-year-old Jesse W. Brown, of Monticello, was charged with murder Tuesday after he voluntarily met with detectives.

Deputies were acting on a tip Sunday when they found 34-year-old Danny J. Poore dead inside a cabin in the Nancy community, about 10 miles west of Somerset.

Police say no one was injured by gunshots that were fired near the campus of Murray State University.

Multiple media outlets report that the university issued a safety advisory Tuesday night after someone fired a gun multiple times into a residence northwest of the Murray State campus.

Police did not release the address of the shooting and were continuing to investigate.

The university later issued an advisory urging its community to be cautious, while noting that the campus remained open.

Bowling Green native and bluegrass musician Sam Bush's mandolin will be displayed at the Kentucky Museum at Western Kentucky University.

The university said Bush has allowed the museum to display the mandolin as part of the Instruments of American Excellence exhibition. The mandolin was given to Bush from the Americana Music Association as a gift for receiving the lifetime achievement for instrumentalist honor in 2009.

Kentucky Museum Director Brent Bjorkman says having the mandolin will allow the museum to share Bush's story with visitors for many years.

Bush is co-founder of the Newgrass Revival, co-winner of three Grammys, a member of the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame and four-time International Bluegrass Museum Association mandolin player of the year. He will be recognized this month with a Kentucky Governor's Award in the Arts.

Kentucky's nursing home industry is seeking relief from what it calls heavy-handed state oversight even though a recent review found multiple instances where its residents have been mistreated.

The review by The Courier-Journal of more than 100 reports of state inspections of the state's nursing homes over the past three years found multiple instances where residents had been threatened, ridiculed, slapped, injured, or sexually abused.

However, Kentucky nursing home representatives are protesting what they say is excessive regulation, arguing that statistics show Kentucky inspectors are more likely to cite "immediate jeopardy" violations than regulators in other states.

An immediate jeopardy violation is one that causes harm, serious injury or death, or is likely to do so, and carries fines of up to $10,000 a day.

Fort Campbell

More than 7,000 combat boots are being displayed at the 101st Airborne Division headquarters at Fort Campbell, honoring active duty service members who have died since the 9/11 attacks.

The display is being held during Military Survivor Appreciation Week, and the 101st and Fort Campbell Survivor Outreach Services also plan a "Run for the Fallen" on Friday.

The boots will be on display Thursday through Sunday. The post said each boot is adorned with a photo of a service member who has died since the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

The boots have been collected from military service members across Fort Campbell and abroad.

Morale, Welfare and Recreation engineer Thomas Kirkham says the boots are being arranged to be reminiscent of Arlington National Cemetery.

Federal prosecutors say a Kentucky-based pharmacy has agreed to pay $9.25 million to settle allegations that it solicited and received kickbacks from a manufacturer in exchange for promoting a drug with nursing home patients.

Prosecutors announced Wednesday the settlement with Louisville-based PharMerica Corp. resolves claims that it received kickbacks from Abbott Laboratories in exchange for recommending that physicians prescribe the Abbott-manufactured drug Depakote.

The settlement partially resolves allegations in two whistleblower lawsuits filed in federal court in the western district of Virginia.

In 2012, Abbott pleaded guilty and agreed to pay $1.5 billion over allegations that it promoted Depakote for patients with dementia and autism — uses not approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The drug was approved for bipolar disorder and epilepsy.

Nine semifinalists for the 2016 Kentucky Teacher of the Year Award have been named.

The Kentucky Department of Education and Ashland Inc. made the announcement Monday.

Elementary school semifinalists are Joshua DeWar of Engelhard Elementary in Jefferson County, Sarah Lockard of A.C. Glasscock Elementary in Marion County and Michele McCloughan of Bowling Green Independent's T.C. Cherry Elementary.

Middle school semifinalists are Karen Mallonee of College View Middle in Daviess County, Rick Rafferty of Fort Thomas Independent's Highlands Middle and Carmen Thompson of Elkhorn Middle in Franklin County.

High school semifinalists are Lee E. Campbell of Knox County Central, Ashley Lamb-Sinclair of North Oldham County and Tracy Lambert of Lexington Lafayette.

International Bluegrass Music Museum

Owensboro Community & Technical College and Brescia University are planning to join forces to offer degrees in bluegrass music.

The college is working to create an associate degree program that officials hope to have up and running by spring 2017.

The idea is that students could study two years at the college and then transfer to Brescia to earn a bachelor of fine arts degree in bluegrass.

The schools hope to take advantage of the resources at the International Bluegrass Music Center, a $15.4 million project also slated to open in 2017. The center will be the new home of the International Bluegrass Music Museum and also include a concert hall, restaurant, teaching rooms and a library.

Versailles might be the next central Kentucky city to consider an ordinance prohibiting discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations based on sexual orientation or gender identity

The Versailles City Council on Tuesday will hear from a member of the Versailles-Midway-Woodford County Human Rights Commission who will encourage the city to adopt the ordinance.

Versailles Mayor Brian Traugott says he will ask the city's administrative and legal committee, chaired by council member Carl Ellis, to draft the ordinance.

On June 1, Midway became the eighth city in the state to adopt an anti-bias ordinance. Other cities that have passed similar laws are Lexington, Louisville, Covington, Danville, Frankfort, Morehead and Vicco in Perry County.

The Vatican says Pope Francis' meeting with Kim Davis "should not be considered a form of support of her position."

After days of confusion, the Vatican issued a statement Friday clarifying Francis' Sept. 24 meeting with Davis, a county clerk in Kentucky who has become a focal point in the gay marriage debate in the U.S. because of her refusal to sign marriage licenses for gay couples.

The Vatican said Francis met with many people during his U.S. stay, due to his "kindness and availability."

The statement said: "The pope did not enter into the details of the situation of Mrs. Davis and his meeting with her should not be considered a form of support of her position in all of its particular and complex aspects."

UPDATE: 7:35 a.m.

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear's lawyers are using the words "absurd," ''forlorn" and "obtuse" to describe the legal arguments a county clerk has used to avoid issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Rowan County clerk Kim Davis filed a lawsuit against the governor, alleging he violated her religious freedom by asking clerks to comply with the U.S. Supreme Court's decision that effectively legalized gay marriage across the nation. Beshear reiterated a request Tuesday that a judge toss the suit.

Davis spent five days in jail for defying a series of federal court orders to issue the licenses.

She has blamed Beshear for her legal woes, alleging that he "commandeered" her office when he instructed clerks to follow the court's decision.

Beshear's lawyer, Palmer G. Vance, described Davis' continued legal battle as a "meritless assault on the rule of law."

Kentucky leads the nation in political spending on TV ads as it hosts the most competitive governor's race in the country.

Politicians and outside groups have spent $9.8 million on TV ads in Kentucky since Jan. 1, 2014, according to an analysis of ad spending by the Center for Public Integrity. The data includes spending through Monday and doesn't include money to produce the ads or money spent on radio, online, direct mail or TV ads that aired on local cable systems.

Hal Heiner is the top spender with an estimated $2.3 million. Heiner finished third in May's Republican primary after running a mostly self-funded campaign. Democrat Jack Conway is second with about $1.7 million, and Republican nominee Matt Bevin is third with $1.1 million.

The Center for Public Integrity estimates outside groups have spent $3.2 million on the race so far, but the actual number is likely higher.

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