Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, who is backed by President Trump, has cleared his first hurdle in the pursuit of a second term, defeating three challengers to win the Republican nomination.

Bevin beat state Rep. Robert Goforth, William Woods and Ike Lawrence.

The governor's strong showing on Tuesday gives him a boost heading into the fall campaign, in a state that has trended overwhelmingly toward the GOP.

At least among Republican voters, Bevin overcame a series of self-inflicted political wounds from his feud with groups representing public school teachers. Bevin's approval ratings slumped after his failed attempt to change the state's struggling public pension systems.

Trump, in a tweet, encouraged Kentuckians to vote for Bevin on Tuesday, saying he "has done a fantastic job for you and America!"

The Associated Press contributed to this report.