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Democrats Hurl Fastballs, Bevin Throws Curveball In Fancy Farm Speeches

Associated Press

Matt Bevin turned Kentucky's famous political circus on its head on Saturday by ignoring his Democratic opponent and saving his jabs for the event itself.

The Republican nominee for governor criticized the politician speaking at the 135th annual Fancy Farm picnic as childish and celebrating divisions. The event is a storied tradition in Kentucky politics for pitting political foes against each other in front of hostile crowds in a contest of insults.

Democratic nominee for governor and Fancy Farm veteran Jack Conway attacked Bevin with familiar one-liners not from liberal talking points but from some of the state's most prominent Republican politicians. Bevin famously challenged Mitch McConnell in the Republican U.S. Senate primary in 2014 only to lose badly.

Bevin said the jabs will do nothing to solve Kentucky's problems.

Democrat Andy Beshear and Republican Whitney Westerfield also took their hard-hitting campaign for attorney general to Fancy Farm. 

Beshear on Saturday told the shouting crowd he has a record of winning complex cases as an attorney, while his opponent's law practice included debt-collecting cases. Westerfield said his prosecutorial background prepared him for the job, and said Beshear would need on-the-job training.

The attorney general's race highlighted speeches by down-ballot candidates.

Beshear is the son of Gov. Steve Beshear. Westerfield, a state senator, said it makes no sense to elect another Beshear.

Andy Beshear poked fun at Westerfield for a personnel file that suggested as a young prosecutor, the Republican sometimes put personal interests including pedicures ahead of his job.

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