"If you don't know seeds, know your seedman."
That was the slogan of Young and Conway Seed Co., the store in Union County run by Attorney General Jack Conway's great uncle, A.V. Conway.
And as luck would have it, Conway happens to be running for governor against another former seedman in Matt Bevin, who as a kid sold seeds to his neighbors in New Hampshire.
"I literally sold seeds," Bevin said at an event in Lexington just days after the primary. "And I sold seeds, frankly, to people who didn't need to buy seeds."
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Bevin spoke about how he "always wanted the women to answer the door, because they were much nicer."
"They really were," he said. "They were gracious to a little kid, and they always bought seeds they didn't need. And I would make a nickel and save my money."
The folks who love Bevin love stories like that. So does the Kentucky Democratic Party.
That's because Democrats, following the strategy of U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to a T, want voters to see Bevin as they do — an unscrupulous, dishonest salesman willing to say or be whatever it takes to close the deal.
And Democrats aren't mincing words. They don't really have to, because they are using those of other Republicans.
Bevin is an "East Coast con man," is the most familiar charge. The first attack ad from the state Democratic party was released last week, titled "Pathological," using the words of the McConnell campaign that Bevin is a "pathological liar."
Those charges are a problem for Bevin, a problem compounded because he keeps giving Democrats new material to work with.
His claim that he did support McConnell after last year's Senate primary was easily refuted by financial filings and folks who remember quite clearly that Bevin was not, in fact, on Team Mitch.
And Bevin's refusal to release his tax returns makes the Democrats' job that much easier, especially when his claim last year to not have any tax issues also was refuted, this time by WAVE3 in Louisville, which showed that Bevin had been delinquent on his taxes more than 10 times.
Bevin is quick to anger, and that's never more true than when reporters are confronting him with fairly obvious inaccuracies or misstatements.
But in the first few weeks of the general election, he has largely gone silent, declining to respond to any number of questions that have popped up in the press, through the research department at the Kentucky Democratic Party and from some Republicans.
Establishment Republicans who want to help Bevin, despite their anger from last year and concerns about his electability, have been dismayed by his unwillingness or even outright refusal to accept their help in learning local issues, his continued criticisms of GOP leadership, and in at least one case, just flat-out missing a meeting with them that his campaign had set up.
As last week saw the ad war escalate, the only folks fighting for Bevin were the Republican Governors Association, but they misfired badly when they used footage of Mexican miners in a Mexican mine, and state Democrats artfully added that to the narrative they are trying to build, or build on.
On Thursday, Kentucky Democratic chairman Patrick Hughes and three retired coal miners told reporters that the ad was "insulting" and a "slap in the face" to Kentucky coal miners.
"This ad is really indicative of a larger problem: There is a continuing trend of deceit and dishonesty coming from Matt Bevin and his East Coast allies," Hughes said. "That's why Republicans have referred to Matt Bevin as a 'pathological liar.' From his lies about his taxes to his false statements about attending a cockfighting rally, it's clear Kentuckians cannot trust Bevin to serve as our governor."
The relentless effort to construct the same narrative that McConnell used to trounce Bevin is not only smart politics; it's also wholly necessary if Conway is to win.
Conway is fighting against a gnarly environment with an electorate that despises President Barack Obama and has turned increasingly red with each passing election.
And if, publicly, Democrats are thrilled to be running against a "con man," there are a number of them who are deeply worried about running against such a great salesman.
Bevin turned heads working his way through the Lincoln Day dinner circuit this year; he didn't make his millions by accident. And even the staunchest Conway supporter will concede that the attorney general is a seriously limited retail politician.
So Conway's team is working hard to make Bevin look dishonest and unelectable because they have to on such daunting terrain against a smoother foe.
Privately, the people working for Conway are somewhat relieved and hopeful that the fight after the Supreme Court's same-sex marriage decision is happening in July and not October.
That fight is one of the few areas where Bevin has spoken up in recent days, joining the fray late by weighing in Friday morning with a call for Gov. Steve Beshear to call a special legislative session, proclaiming that government should get out of the marriage business and moving for marriage licenses to be available for pickup or download, like other legal forms.
If Democrats are running the McConnell playbook with fidelity and aplomb, expect Bevin's allies to do the same, tying Conway to Obama at every turn.
And in Kentucky, same-sex marriage remains a powder-keg issue that could work in Bevin's favor, despite his erroneous charge that Conway was obligated to appeal the lower court's decision calling for marriage equality.
Or maybe not.
It was, after all, Bevin who, just last week, told WHAS's Joe Arnold that "people have amazingly short attention spans."
"And at every turn, it is constantly what you just said, it is constantly a function of defining and redefining oneself," Bevin said.
That might be a cynical view of the electorate and politics in general, but it also might be accurate.
Or it might just be one more in a long row of seeds of mistrust that the Kentucky Democratic Party is planting, hoping it will bear fruit come November.