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.
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.
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.
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.
Unlike in years past, this year's Fancy Farm Picnic drew few elected officials. But that doesn't mean there weren't any fireworks. Kentucky Public Radio's Kenny Colston covered the picnic, and he sat down with KPR's Gabe Bullard to sum up the post-picnic chatter.
The republican party has a strong showing at this year's Fancy Farm Picnic. Less than 20 minutes are left to the start of the political speaking. Agriculture Commissioner James Comer will emcee, and U. S. Sen. Mitch McConnell will lead off the slate of politicians and candidates.
Republicans are hoping to cinch a big victory in western Kentucky, with five open races in the general election.
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.
Most of Kentucky's elected Democrats will skip this weekend's annual Fancy Farm picnic.
As of Wednesday, House Speaker Greg Stumbo is the only high profile Democrat scheduled to speak. Stumbo is filling in for the governor, who's on an economic development trip in Europe. Lieutenant Governor Jerry Abramson and the four remaining statewide elected Democratic officials are opting not to speak.