Fancy Farm Political Speaking won't be this empty - but emptier than in election years.
7/31/17 UPDATED: Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes won't be at the Picnic. She's going to her nephew's little league championship baseball game. (Best excuse this year)
Mark Wilson, co-chair of the political speaking for Fancy Farm Picnic 2017, sent out a speaker's list as of July 10th.
In this year without an election, the dais will be pretty empty.
Headliners of past years have either declined to come or haven't confirmed. Governor Matt Bevin and Lieutenant Governor Jenean Hampton are no shows. Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul haven't confirmed. With Senate Leader McConnell cancelling the first two weeks of the August Senate break to work on health care, it looks like they will be staying in DC.
No response yet from Kentucky Secretary of State Alison L. Grimes who has been all over national cable recently opposing President Trump's election commission request for voter records. Also pending are Allison Ball, Kentucky's Treasurer and Senate President Robert Stivers.
Confirmed speakers include: First District Congressman James Comer, First District state Senator Stan Humphries, Representative Rocky Adkins, Rep. Jeff Hoover, Representative Richard Heath who represents Graves County, Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles, Auditor Mike Harmon and Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear whose battles with Governor Bevin have reached historic heights.
Former Kentucky Speaker of the House (1982-1985) Bobby Richardson of Glasgow will serve as emcee.
The Fancy Farm Picnic, a fundraising event for St. Jerome's Catholic Church, kicks off on August 4th. The long running picnic has attracted politicians dating back to when they had to stand on a tree stump to address the crowds, leading to the moniker "stump speak."
Members of the church cook barbecue on the grounds for days before the event. Fun runs, a dance, bingo and games and home cooked food in the Knights of Columbus building are the real draws for locals.
The stump speaking will begin around 2:00 on Saturday (not counting the bluegrass band that kicks off the event)