Lieutenant Governor Jerry Abramson's assertion that the Fancy Farm picnic is no longer a relevant political event has inspired a growing backlash.
In remarks reported by CN2, Abramson dismissed the picnic, saying it's too rowdy. But Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, who emceed this year's event, says when statewide officials skip the picnic, as Abramson did this year, it hurts the church and community that put the event on.
"Fancy Farm just isn’t about politics, it’s a church charity event and it’s a huge economic draw for people in Western Kentucky,” Comer says.
Comer says the agricultural area is still feeling the effects of the recession as well as dealing with severe drought conditions. The commissioner also says his remarks aren’t partisan, complimenting the Democratic and Republican officials who did attend this year’s event.
“If you can’t face the Fancy Farm crowd then you’re not ready to lead. And I just think that’s a good test and it's a tradition in Kentucky,” says Comer.