Politics & Government

Candidates for governor, U.S. senators will speak at Fancy Farm picnic

Candidates for governor, U.S. senators and a "farewell" speech by Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo will highlight this year's Fancy Farm picnic, which traditionally kicks off the fall campaigns in Kentucky.

Mark Wilson, political chairman for the 131st annual picnic Aug. 6 at St. Jerome Catholic Church in the small Western Kentucky community of Fancy Farm, released information Wednesday about the picnic's political speaking program.

Wilson said Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear and Republican Senate President David Williams have confirmed they will speak at the picnic about their campaigns for governor.

Wilson also said Lexington attorney Gatewood Galbraith, who is running for governor as an independent, will be invited to speak if his required candidacy papers have been formalized.

Each candidate's running mate also will speak.

The picnic, attended by thousands, has set aside time for a "farewell" speech from Mongiardo, who decided to run last year for U.S. Senate instead of being a running mate again with Beshear. Others to give "farewell" speeches are Secretary of State Elaine Walker and Auditor Crit Luallen.

The program also will feature U.S. Sens. Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul and U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield, along with state Sen. Ken Winters and Rep. Fred Nesler.

Wilson has set aside eight minutes for any presidential candidate, but none is on the agenda yet

Candidates for secretary of state, auditor, attorney general, treasurer and agriculture commissioner are included on the program.

Marshall County Judge-Executive Mike Miller, a Democrat, will be the emcee for this year's program, which begins at 2 p.m. CDT.

Wilson said the Kentucky Educational Television network will provide a live broadcast of the program, along with WYMC radio in Mayfield.

Local cooks will start putting 19,000 pounds of pork and mutton on the pits at 8 a.m. Friday, Aug. 5, in advance of the picnic's start at 10 a.m. the next day.

Musical entertainment for the picnic, which is free to attend, will be provided by Lew Jetton and 61 South on Friday evening, Jennifer Fox and the Pillowfighters on Saturday evening and No Tools Loaned on Saturday morning and afternoon.

Democrats are planning to hold a breakfast Saturday morning at Mayfield High School; Republicans will hold theirs at Graves County High School.