FANCY FARM, Ky. (LEX 18) — Kentucky's biggest political picnic, Fancy Farm, brought Republican and Democrat representatives alike into the western side of the Commonwealth, bringing a traditional start to this fall's campaign season.
Gov. Beshear was not in attendance and instead spent the day meeting with families displaced by the floods that devastated Eastern Kentucky more than a week ago and killed 37.
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell also didn't attend.
Many politicians let their guard down to exchange jokes, including Democratic governor candidate Charles Booker who used Paul's absence as an opportunity to jab at the senator.
"Did you know it's international clown week?" Booker said. "So Rand is busy right now working on his routine."
Booker also told those at the picnic that Paul's voting against infrastructure shows he doesn't care about Kentucky, calling him an "embarrassment" and a "terrible senator."
Paul's wife, Kelley, was in attendance at Fancy Farm and shot back at Booker. "Have y'all seen Charles' new campaign ad?" Kelley said. "It looks like Jessie Smollet. Now I'm not sure who should be more embarrassed, Jessie or Charles."
All jokes aside, many representatives rallied support for Eastern Kentucky and promoted their candidacies.
Kentucky Attorney General, and GOP gubernatorial hopeful, Daniel Cameron said, "When natural disasters strike, we take off our partisan hats, and we root for each other. We help repair, and we help rebuild."
Cameron also reiterated his endorsement from former President Donald Trump and claimed that he is "the only candidate that can beat Andy Beshear next fall."
Ryan Quarles, Agriculture Commissioner of Kentucky and another GOP gubernatorial hopeful, said Beshear was a "shutdown governor" who "killed countless jobs" before concluding that running for governor shouldn't be about who has the biggest insults.
Quarles said it should be about "who has the biggest ideas."