LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – Republicans will have a lopsided advantage during political speeches at the Fancy Farm picnic that serves as the traditional kickoff of Kentucky’s fall campaign season.
The state’s two Democratic statewide officeholders – Attorney General Andy Beshear and Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes – are skipping Saturday’s event in western Kentucky. Both are citing family commitments.
Republicans are pouncing on their absence from the raucous event that includes sign-toting, noisy hecklers. Tres Watson, a state Republican Party spokesman, says it’s a sign the state Democratic Party is on the verge of becoming a regional party based in Louisville and Lexington.
Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul and his Democratic challenger, Jim Gray, will square off at Saturday’s picnic. Other speakers will include Sen. Mitch McConnell and Gov. Matt Bevin, both Republicans.