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Bevin invited to Fancy Farm, McConnell says all candidates should be

Bevin invited to Fancy Farm, McConnell says all candidates should be

by Joe Arnold


Posted on July 25, 2013 at 5:05 AM

Updated Thursday, Jul 25 at 5:54 AM

LOUISVILLE, Ky (WHAS11) -- After the organizer of political speeches at Fancy Farm decided Wednesday night to reverse an earlier decision and invite Republican Senate primary candidate Matt Bevin to speak at the 133rd Annual Picnic, the campaign of five-term incumbent Mitch McConnell says the more, the merrier.

"As the Nation's leading champion of the first Amendment, Mitch supports the right of every Kentuckian to speak out," said McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton in a statement to WHAS11 News Thursday morning.

"Our campaign calls on picnic organizers to invite additional Republican primary contender Gurley L. Martin to participate," Benton added.  "We also call on the other three announced Democrats, Edward Marksberry, Bennie J. Smith, and Dr. Greg Leichty to be invited as well. We look forward to Fancy Farm, a wonderful Kentucky tradition."

Both Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes, Kentucky's Secretary of State, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) have confirmed their attendance at the August 3 event.

"Matt Bevin, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, has filed his papers to run," said Fancy Farm political chairman Mark Wilson.  "and will be added to the speaking roster."

"Fancy Farm is a great and unique Kentucky tradition," Bevin said in a statement to WHAS11 News.  "I've already met so many energetic and wonderful Kentuckians around the state and I look forward to meeting more and sharing my message of limited government and individual liberty with them."

Meanwhile, it was announced on Wednesday that neither Governor Steve Beshear or Lt. Governor Jerry Abramson will attend the rowdy political speeches in 2013.

2013 marks the 133rd annual Fancy Farm picnic on the grounds of St. Jerome Catholic Church in western Kentucky's Graves County.  Politicians must deal with persistent heckling and political gags during the afternoon stump speeches.

Both Kentucky Educational Television and C-Span plan to telecast the speeches, live.  KET's Comment on Kentucky host Ferrell Wellman is the emcee.

Confirmed 2013 Fancy Farm speakers

Sen. Stan Humphries (R) - Greeting
Rep. Richard Heath (R) - Greeting

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R)
Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D)
Matt Bevin (R)
U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield (R)
Attorney General Jack Conway (D)
Auditor Adam Edelen (D)
Agriculture Commissioner James Comer (R)

Not attending
Governor Steve Beshear (D)
Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson (D)
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R)


Treasurer Todd Hollenbach (D)

Candidates flip for speaking order.