FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear will miss next month’s Fancy Farm picnic for the second straight year.
Beshear said in a social media post Friday that he and his wife, first lady Britainy Beshear, will visit Israel in August. The governor said the trip will conflict with the rowdy annual political picnic in far western Kentucky, which this year falls on Aug. 6.
Democrats are expected to be scarce at this year's picnic, with Republicans dominating most state and federal offices. U.S. Senate candidate Charles Booker is the only Democrat who has so far committed to attend.
Kentucky's two Republican U.S. senators, Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul, have not yet committed to attending the picnic. Paul is seeking a third term in the U.S. Senate and will face Booker in the fall.
Confirmed so far to attend are Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, Auditor Mike Harmon, Treasurer Allison Ball, Secretary of State Michael Adams and Kentucky Agricultural Commissioner Ryan Quarles, all Republicans. Cameron, Harmon and Quarles have announced campaigns for governor in 2023.
The picnic — also known for its barbecue — draws large crowds and is a rite of passage for statewide candidates in Kentucky.