(Mayfield, KY, August 1, 2015) - A smaller crowd of Democrats gathered at Mayfield High School to get their blood moving for the Fancy Farm political speaking later in the day. It was a subdued crowd - maybe because the Mike Miller Bean Dinner in Marshall County kept many out late. After almost a week of luncheons, dinners, golf scrambles and meet and greets, candidates were looking a tiny bit shell shocked.
Despite a lack of sleep, they did their best to stir partisan Democratic hearts.
Governor Steve Beshear and Lt. Governor Crit Luallen emphasized the importance of getting out the vote.
Candidate Jack Conway reminded the crowd that while he cursed at Fancy Farm once, that the GOP began "cussing their candidate." He said the race is close and that he and his running mate will be talking about jobs, jobs, jobs.
Running mate Sannie Overly, below left with Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, emphasized that training and education are top priorities.
Adam Edelen may have had the best line when he said that "I never believed Mitch McConnell, but I believe every word he said about Matt Bevin."
It is a theme that will be repeated often before the first Tuesday in November. McConnell savaged Bevin in print and on the air in Bevin's unsuccessful bid to unseat him. Democrats are gleefully quoting the Senator's words as Jack Conway vies with him in the governor's race.
Edelen then talked about his job as state auditor. An audit by Edelen's office helped put a former Dayton Kentucky school superintendent in federal prison for stealing ½ million dollars of school funds.
Jean Marie Lawson Spann, candidate for agriculture commissioner, brought her new son, Lee, and family to the breakfast. She called herself an 8th generation farmer. Her opponent, she characterized as an Ivy League lawyer. It was a charge she repeated during her four minutes on the stage at Fancy Farm.
Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes told us that, if she wins, she will continue projects she has begun. She supports early voting. In Kentucky, voting early can only be done with an excuse. Other states let voters come to the poll within weeks of election day. Grimes said the final decision on early voting rests with the Legislature.
Middlesboro Representative Rick Nelson spent 29 years as an educator. He applauded Edelen's role in tracking down the educational crook in Dayton, Kentucky. Nelson hails from a predominantly Republican leaning region in southeastern Kentucky.
Why is he a Democrat? He said that his daddy told him that "Democrat is the only party that helps people."