US Senate candidate Charles Booker will be the only Democrat to speak at the Fancy Farm picnic

By Tom Lateck
kentucky today

US Senate candidate Charles Booker may be thinking of the old Three Dog Night song “One is the Loneliest Number”, as he will apparently be the only Democrat to appear on stage at Fancy Farm next month.

Democratic Governor Andy Beshear, who said he would seek re-election in 2023, sent his ‘regrets’ in a social media post, in which he said: ‘Britain and I are visiting the Holy Land in August, giving us the incredible opportunity to deepen our faith and learn more about Israel, one of our nation’s greatest allies. Because of this trip, we cannot attend Fancy Farm.

Democrat Charles Booker addresses a rally of supporters as he announces his candidacy for the United States Senate at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage in Louisville, Ky., July 1, 2021. Booker will be the only Democrat to speak at Fancy Farm on August 6. (Kentucky Today file)

Lieutenant Governor Jacqueline Coleman, who will likely be her running mate again, made her announcement the same way: “I’m not going to Fancy Farm this year. In the next few days I will be in Western Kentucky highlighting the great job the Kentucky team is doing.

That leaves Booker, a former Louisville state representative, trying to stop incumbent U.S. Senator Rand Paul from winning another term in November.

Among those who have agreed to speak at the 142nd St. Jerome’s Church Picnic and Political Speaking Event on August 6 are the top four GOP gubernatorial candidates for 2023: Attorney General Daniel Cameron, Representative Savannah Maddox of Dry Ridge, Auditor Mike Harmon and Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles. Both Harmon and Quarles have term limits and cannot seek re-election to their current positions.

Treasurer Allison Ball, who announced she would run for state auditor, and Secretary of State Michael Adams, who said he could run for attorney general instead of another term in his office present, have also undertaken to appear.

Paul and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell have yet to commit to the event, as it will depend on the US Senate session in August.

The Fancy Farm Picnic is the major fundraiser each year for St. Jerome’s Catholic Church, increasing the normal population of the Graves County community from just over 400 to more than 10 times that amount for a day of barbecue prepared by members of the church plus the political speaking strain.

Although the picnic began in 1880, it did not become Kentucky’s top political event until 1931, when A. B. “Happy” Chandler made an appearance campaigning for lieutenant governor. Since then, it has served during election years as the traditional kickoff to the fall election campaign.

This will be the first Fancy Farm Picnic to be at full power since 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic.


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Edward L. Robinett