Over one hundred Democrats from five counties gathered on Friday, September 9th to eat catfish dinners and listen to candidates for statewide office. Hosted by executive committees of Ballard, Carlisle, Fulton, Hickman and McCracken Counties, the fish fry, held at Columbus Belmont Park, has been an election year event for several years.
Hickman County Judge Greg Pruitt served as master of ceremonies. Pruitt introduced the first speaker, former Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson, by saying he had known the mayor for a number of years. Abramson is running for lieutenant governor with incumbent Governor Steve Beshear.
Abramson’s speech was an appeal to Western Kentucky Democrats to re-elect Beshear because he has “been here for Western Kentucky.” Abramson cited the Governor’s support during the ice storm two years ago and more recently during flooding in the region.
Abramson was asked about the announcement that Republican Mayor Bill Paxton of Paducah had that day endorsed the Beshear/Abramson ticket. Abramson said that he and the Mayor had known each other for years as fellow mayors. He also cited Paxton’s awareness of the support that Beshear had given Western Kentucky.
State Treasurer Todd Hollenbach, running for re-election, is a familiar figure in West Kentucky. He has traveled the state bringing the “treasure finders” campaign. Volunteers call county residents who may be eligible for unclaimed property in the treasurer’s office. Hollenbach has given out more money than any previous treasurer.
Alison Lundergan Grimes, the only woman on the Democratic ticket, is a candidate for secretary of state. Grimes promised to make access to the ballot easier for veterans and active military. Grimes told the crowd she would work with small business and nonprofit corporations.
Robert “Bob” Farmer, running for commissioner of agriculture, distributed copies of the Farmer’s Almanac. His speech included a promise to market farm products and to help rural communities find jobs.
Those attending the Democratic Fish Fry also enjoyed lively music by Work in Progress, a women’s gospel group.