(CNN)Matt Bevin, the controversial Kentuckian who attempted to dethrone Sen. Mitch McConnell last year, orchestrated a remarkable political comeback on Tuesday to win the state’s governorship.

Bevin bested Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway, a Democrat, in the contest.

Bevin, a Republican often at odds with more mainstream elements of his party, managed to solidly beat Conway in a race that Bevin was not expected to win by any significant margin.