- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 4, 2015

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - The latest on the GOP surge in Kentucky’s general election.

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12:30 p.m.

He wasn’t on the ballot, but U.S. Sen. Rand Paul was a big winner in Kentucky’s elections on Tuesday.

Four of the six Democratic candidates lost for statewide offices, including incumbent Auditor Adam Edelen, who was widely seen as the likely Democrat to challenge Paul for his Senate seat next year. It will likely quell some Republican concerns that Paul should drop his struggling presidential bid and focus on his Senate re-election campaign.

Paul described the criticism as “a manufactured story.”

Paul citied the Republican Party of Kentucky’s executive committee voting overwhelmingly to create a presidential caucus in March, allowing Paul to run for president and re-election at the same time without violating a state law.

And he said he’s sure the Democrats will get someone to run against him in 2016.

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11:40 a.m.

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear is promising an orderly transition as Republican Gov.-elect Matt Bevin begins his preparations to take office.

Democrat Beshear says he called Bevin on Wednesday morning to congratulate him on his election. Beshear supported Bevin’s opponent, Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway, in Tuesday’s election. Beshear could not run for re-election because of term limits.

Beshear says his office will work with Bevin’s transition team to answer any questions and provide all information needed to assure “consistent delivery of all services.” Beshear says he has assigned Mary Lassiter, secretary of the governor’s executive cabinet, and Shannon Tivitt, deputy chief of staff, as points of contact for the incoming administration.

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10:55 a.m.

Opening the Senate session on Wednesday, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell congratulated Kentucky Gov.-elect Matt Bevin.

But McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, never mentioned Bevin’s name. Bevin challenged him in last year’s Senate GOP primary.

Instead, McConnell said, “The governor-elect and I are no stranger to spirited competition.”

McConnell also said Kentucky voters rejected “government control and big labor” and sent a message that they want “greater control over their lives and destiny.”

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4:50 a.m.

Republican victories for governor and three other statewide offices in Kentucky severely crippled one of the few remaining viable Democratic parties in the South.

Kentucky is still the only Southern state where Democrats control the House of Representatives. But Republicans now control four of the six statewide constitutional seats, including the governor’s office. And they have a supermajority in the state Senate.

Democratic Auditor Adam Edelen - who lost his re-election bid - says the national Democratic Party is out of step with mainstream residents of Kentucky, making it difficult for the party’s candidates to win statewide. Other Democrats, including Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, say the party must begin to rebuild.

Republican Gov.-elect Matt Bevin called for unity and vowed to work with politicians from both parties when he takes office.

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