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Cheesecake or Barbecue: choices along the political campaign trail
For Kemp's after dinner fundraiser in Murray - cheesecakes and desserts.

In West Kentucky, food is a strategy and a hand to hand weapon in securing political ground. Like ancient campaigns of the 19th and 20th centuries, West Kentuckians response best when they are fed.

West Kentuckians are of clans. They exist in local counties or small towns. They are formed around many small churches of families that many have strong convictions of right and wrong. Politics run deep in this area of Kentucky. In 1861, far western Kentucky was trying to secede from the Union and the State of Kentucky. They were about joining the Confederacy.

Whatever the reason, for debate or gathering of the clan (family), there has always been “food on the grounds.” Tradition steeped in the culture of large Sunday afternoon church gatherings still hold true today in the 21st century. Food is a force of good will in West Kentucky. Therefore, it is safe to say that in modern political laws, getting out the vote or bringing out the party for the Democrat faithful in West Kentucky, is that you must feed them.

Thus on the evening of October 1, 2012, there occurred two political events in West Kentucky that were best served with food.

In Mayfield at Carr’s Steakhouse, Democratic candidate Kelly Whitaker made sure everyone had plenty of old fashioned barbecue. Two hours later, in Murray, Democratic candidate Hal Kemp presented tastes of cheesecake at his fundraiser.

Different locations, different events, similar calls to arms for Democrats in West Kentucky framed the night.  At each event, food was a major force behind the scenes. It was the quality of the food that allows strangers and old friends to meet, share comments and enjoy the company of like minded souls.


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