Kentucky's runoff election would remain in place under a measure that passed the House on Tuesday.
To appease county-level officials who called for the runoff to be eliminated, House lawmakers voted to pick up the entire cost of the election.
Legislation requiring the state to pay for a runoff passed the House on a 90-7 vote, and now goes to the Senate for consideration.
Under state law, a runoff election would be held if a single candidate for governor does not get at least 40 percent of the vote in the May 22 primary. The runoff would take place 35 days after the votes are certified.
Seven Democrats and three Republicans are seeking the gubernatorial nomination from their parties.
Secretary of State Trey Grayson said the estimated cost of a runoff would be $5 million. County governments would shoulder about $3 million of the cost.
The provision has been on the books since 1992 but so far never used. It says if no one gets at least 40 percent of the vote, the top two candidates go into the runoff.
The legislation is House Bill 476