Fancy Farm Picnic

WKMS/John Null

After the successful passage of his Industrial Hemp Bill this year, Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture James Comer is staying tight-lipped about his plans for the next legislative session, but Comer says rural economic development efforts need to be refocused around agriculture.

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Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes is the presumptive favorite to win next May’s Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, but like Republican Senator Mitch McConnell, it seems she will face more than a token primary challenge.

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U.S. Senate candidate Matt Bevin brought day two of his campaign announcement tour to the National Quilt Museum in Paducah Thursday.

The Louisville businessman was born in Colorado and raised in New Hampshire. Bevin is hoping to unseat U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in next May’s Republican primary.

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Gov. Steve Beshear and Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson will skip next week's Fancy Farm Picnic in Graves County. Democratic Party Chairman Dan Logsdon said they're unable to go.

Last year, Abramson received criticism for questioning the relevancy of the political event.

Matt Bevin, the Louisville businessman seeking to defeat Sen. Mitch McConnell in next year’s Republican primary, will be at next week's Fancy Farm Picnic in Graves County - whether he's allowed to take the podium or not. (UPDATE 9:46 A.M 7/25, After an email Wednesday from Fancy Farm Political Speaking Chair to WKMS that Bevin won't be allowed to speak, the Associated Press now says Bevin will speak)

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When Senator Mitch McConnell faces off against prospective general election opponent Alison Lundergan Grimes at this year’s Fancy Farm Picnic, it will be the first time the Republican has met his Democratic challenger this far in advance at the event.

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Sen. Mitch McConnell and Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes have both confirmed they will speak at this year’s Fancy Farm Picnic in Graves County.

The event will mark the first face-to-face confrontation between the two since Grimes, a Democrat, declared her candidacy for McConnell's seat earlier this month.

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Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway is the first statewide elected official to sign up to speak at this year's Fancy Farm picnic on August 3rd.  Conway is a potential 2015 gubernatorial candidate, and has been a regular in recent years at the picnic, which has historically been the place where Kentucky candidates kick off campaigns.  U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and his Democratic challenger, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, have also been invited but haven't yet confirmed. 

Kentucky Lt. Governor Jerry Abramson is taking a hit for calling the annual Fancy Farm picnic outdated, but he isn't the first elected official to share his distaste for the raucous event.

As Frankfort Bureau Chief Kenny Colston reported, Republican Agriculture Commissioner James Comer scolded Abramson for his comments and skipping the event. He also scored some political points by highlighting that the lieutenant governor is the former mayor of Louisville.

On his Facebook page, Comer wrote: "The border of (Kentucky) extends far beyond the city limits of Louisville, something the Lt. Gov. will hopefully realize before the end of his term!"

But two years ago, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, who is from Bowling Green, criticized Fancy Farm when he told Fox New's Sean Hannity that he worried the onlookers would shower him with beer. And his northern Kentucky predecessor—former Sen. Jim Bunning—threatened to boycott Fancy Farm after complaining about how elected leaders were treated.

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Local Candidates Talk Jobs, Economy at Fancy Farm

Aug 6, 2012

First District State Senate candidates focused on jobs, in their stump speeches at this weekend’s 2012 Fancy Farm Picnic. Democratic candidate Carroll Hubbard is making his second run at the position. Hubbard, a former U. S. congressman and Paducah lawyer, lost the race in 2008 to Ken Winters. Hubbard says voters should choose him because as a democrat he can work with democratic Gov. Steve Beshear.

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