While the humidity is running high, a smaller slate of candidates hasn't dampened the crowd at the 2012 Fancy Farm Picnic. The event draws thousands each year, and its stump speaking is the traditional kickoff of the general election campaign season in Kentucky. Speakers start at 2 p.m. Central time.
The local Graves County crowd is expected to be fired up over the 2nd District Kentucky Representative race. Democrat Kelly Whitaker and Republican Richard Heath face off for the seat vacated by retired Rep. Fred Nesler, who stepped down to join Agriculture Commissioner James Comer's administration. Nesler will speak before the two candidates.
Candidates for another open western Kentucky race are also on today's agenda. Trigg County Judge-Executive Stan Humphries, a republican, and Paducah lawyer and democratic candidate Carroll Hubbard, are up for the 1st District Senate seat vacated by Sen. Ken Winters, of Murray. Hubbard tried to unseat Winters in 2008, and is back for another round, more hopeful of victory in an open race. Winters will speak before the candidates, and is expected to energize the Humphries supporters.
Also speaking today are Kentucky U. S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, Congressman Ed Whitfield, Whitfield's general election opponent Charles Hatchett, Ken Moellman as surrogate for the libertarian presidential candidate, and Rep. Greg Stumbo as surrogate for Gov. Steve Beshear.