FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Governor Matt Bevin has announced he will run for reelection in 2019 with Sen. Ralph Alvarado as his running mate.
Bevin made the announcement at the Capitol rotunda Friday afternoon.
Alvarado, who is from Winchester, recently won reelection to his Senate seat in the November election. He is the son of immigrants and is a medical doctor. Alvarado is the co-chair of the Health and Welfare and Family Services Committee. He spoke at the 2016 Republican National Convention.
"I'm humbled that Governor Bevin has even considered me and has asked me to help be his running mate to carry on the accomplishments that we've done for the past three years," Alvarado said.
Gov. Bevin spoke highly of Alvarado personally and professionally during the announcement.
"His knowledge of medicine, his knowledge of police, his knowledge to know what it is to be a husband, father, taxpayer, businessman...all these things that he brings to the equation are the very things that Kentucky needs at this time," Bevin said.
If Bevin wins reelection, Alvarado would replace current Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton. When someone asked Bevin why Alvarado is his running mate instead of Hampton, Bevin said, "because I chose to run with Sen. Alvarado.”
The governor would later call Hampton a "dear friend" and said she has been an "extraordinary" Lieutenant Governor.
Bevin is being contested in the primary, as Rep. Robert Goforth of East Bernstadt and William Woods have both officially filed to run for the Republican nomination. Both criticized the change in running mates in social media posts following the announcement.
U.S. Rep. James Comer has also shown interest in running, but Bevin's reelection announcement may keep him out of the 2019 race.