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Kentucky politicians sharpen rhetorical knives ahead of Fancy Farm

Posted at 8:10 AM, Aug 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-03 08:10:29-04

FANCY FARM, Ky. (LEX 18) — It's a showdown that's been brewing for years.

On Saturday, Gov. Matt Bevin and his gubernatorial challenger, Attorney General Andy Beshear, will face off at Kentucky's foremost political event: Fancy Farm.

The annual picnic and fundraiser swells in the Graves County community of 480 to more than 20,000.

The mutton and pork is cooked and ready, but that's merely an appetizer for the main event: the tradition of gleefully scathing political speechifying.

The main event is the governor's race between Bevin and Beshear, but there will be others including an expected visit from U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell.

The event provides a snapshot of current political landscape. In 2010, the Senate race brought out Jack Conway and Rand Paul, who now is in his second term.

In 2014, McConnell took on challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes.

Mark Wilson, the political chairman of the picnic for 15 years, has invited more than 200 politicians to the stage and is ready for another round.

"Now it's gonna get amped up in there, and they actually start with some of their chanting even before the speaking starts," Wilson said. "So probably 1:30, get ready because the decibels are gonna pick up around the pavilion."

The speeches are set to begin around 3 p.m.

Watch coverage of the event on WLEX-TV Channel 18 at 6 p.m.