Fancy Farm notes: State auditor Edelen leaves door open for U.S. Senate run

jbrammer@herald-leader.comAugust 2, 2014 

FANCY FARM — Political tidbits from the 134th annual Fancy Farm Picnic in Graves County:

State Auditor Adam Edelen, in his speeches this weekend, talked about how Kentucky needs to get rid of its two U.S. senators: Republicans Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul.

Might Edelen be interested in running for the U.S. Senate in 2016, when Paul, who is considering a bid for president that year, is up for re-election?

"We'll see," said Edelen, who has decided not to run for governor in 2015.

Also being mentioned at Fancy Farm as a possible Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in two years is Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer.

The mayor was front and center on the Fancy Farm stage Saturday afternoon.

Picnic veteran's perspective

Larry Wilson doesn't know how many Fancy Farm Picnics he's attended.

He does know that he has been going since he was around 6 years old and that he's eaten barbecue at more than 50 picnics.

Wilson is a local; he lives in the small Western Kentucky town and is a member of St. Jerome Parish, which hosts the picnic every year. He enjoys listening to what political candidates have to say, no matter their party.

"My dad used to run a lemonade stand here," Wilson said. "They moved the meals up to the KC Hall, and they have to charge more for meals because food got expensive."

Wilson said the Fancy Farm picnic is vital to the church, even though a lot of the money goes back into the event. He said the Parish spent $80,000 on a new platform and various improvements to the grounds.

Wilson donned Team Mitch stickers and showed his support for incumbent U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell.

"I have nothing against (Alison Lundergan Grimes), but if she goes to the Senate as a Democrat at the bottom of the poll, she won't be heard," he said.

Ethnicity fair game?

Kentucky Democratic Party Chairman Daniel Logsdon denounced a series of tweets Saturday by Democratic operative Kathy Groob, who noted that U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell's wife, former U.S. Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, is not from Kentucky and is Asian.

"If Mitch McConnell is going to bring his wife in the race, then her lack of KY status is fair game," Groob said on Twitter.

Josh Holmes, a senior adviser to McConnell, responded on Twitter: "Every six years when KY Dems start to realize they're going to lose to McConnell again they attack Elaine Chao's ethnicity. Despicable."

Groob could not be immediately reached for comment.

"We denounce that kind of rhetoric," said Logsdon. "There is no place for that."

'Invasive species'

In speeches, Democratic Treasurer Todd Hollenbach said he has checked county clerks' offices and hospitals in Kentucky to find out if Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell was born in Kentucky, but had no luck.

He said he believes McConnell is "an immigrant" or "invasive species from the Southland."

McConnell actually was born Feb. 20, 1942, in a hospital in Sheffield, Ala. His parents and he moved to Louisville when he was a teen.

Over the limit

Speakers at Fancy Farm were told in advance that if they went past their time limit, they would be played off stage by the Rolling Stones' Time Is On My Side. The only violator: U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Hopkinsville.

Jack Brammer: (859) 231-1302. Twitter: @BGPolitics. Blog: bluegrasspolitics.bloginky.com

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