Mitch McConnell

The Fancy Farm Picnic’s political chair Mark Wilson says Democrats and Republicans offered positive feedback following a conference call to encourage a more civil atmosphere at this year's picnic.

Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce

One of the candidates in the highly-contested Kentucky U.S. Senate race has agreed to take part in an event in Owensboro next month.  

Incumbent Senator Mitch McConnell confirmed he will appear at the Red, White & Blue Picnic on Aug. 26.  The event is sponsored by the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce. McConnell’s Democratic challenger Allison Lundergan Grimes has not said whether she’ll attend. 

Offices of Sen. McConnell and Sec. Grimes

With just over three months to go until Election Day, Republican Senator Mitch McConnell has a slim, two percentage-point lead over Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes. 

The figure comes from a new Bluegrass Poll released Monday evening, showing the five-term Senator leading 47 percent to 45 percent.  The poll has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3.7 percentage points and was conducted between July 18th and 23rd. In previous polls, Grimes had a four-point lead over McConnell in February.  That lead shrank to one point in May.

The Bluegrass Poll is conducted for the Courier-Journal and Herald-Leader as well as television stations WHAS and WKYT. 

Kentucky Dept. of Agriculture

This Saturday the 134th annual Fancy Farm political picnic will feature thousands of pounds of barbecue, and even spicier political rhetoric. In addition, the event’s chairman anticipates this year’s political gathering to be the largest ever.

Mark Wilson and his wife, Lori, have directed the political happenings at the Fancy Farm picnic for the past eight years. Mark anticipates this year’s crowd will be the largest since 1992, when Democratic Vice-Presidential candidate Al Gore spoke at the event. 

“It’s a ballpark, 15 to 20,000. And that’s what we anticipate this year, the same type of crowd. 

A lifelong congregant of the stump speech mecca’s St. Jerome Catholic parish, where the event is held alongside raffles and bingo, Wilson says local and state officeholders, as well as both of Kentucky’s U.S. Senators, will be present at Fancy Farm.

He says he anticipates Kentucky Agricultural Commissioner James Comer to keep with a tried and true Fancy Farm tradition and announce his rumored gubernatorial candidacy. 

“There’s speculation that he’s going to announce his intentions to run for governor on the Republican side of the aisle, and we think there’s a very good possibility he will make that announcement on our political platform on Saturday.”

Wilson says the event will also feature its other signature offering: Several thousand pounds of barbeque mutton, chicken, and pork to aid the digestion of what could be the biggest Fancy Farm ever.

Georgia Republicans picked their Senate nominee Tuesday night. Former corporate CEO David Perdue will face Democrat Michelle Nunn in the November general election.

Nunn, the daughter of a popular former senator, is among several Democratic female candidates who are showing strength as the party tries to preserve its Senate majority. She's also considered a real contender to turn the Georgia seat Democratic.

WKMS

The 134th Fancy Farm Picnic is now just a little more than two weeks away and the line-up of speakers is almost complete.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and his challenger, Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes, are expected to face off for the second time in as many years on August 2. Fancy Farm political chair Mark Wilson says, unlike Grimes, McConnell has yet to confirm his appearance, but expects the five-term Senator will make the trip.

Wilson said the picnic’s attendance could swell to as many as 20,000 people.

“Normally we’ll do 10-12,000 or so," Wilson said. "But with all the heightened interest in the McConnell/Grimes race and then you’ve got U.S. Sen. Rand Paul with some presidential aspirations and then we’ve got Jack Conway and James Comer, both sitting state officials who have gubernatorial aspirations.”

Comer has yet to actually declare himself a candidate for governor. The lone Republican to officially enter the race, Hal Heiner, will not be invited to speak, according to Wilson, because he’s not a sitting public official. McConnell's primary challenger, Matt Bevin, ran into the same problem at last year's event, but was eventually invited to speak.

Offices of Sen. McConnell and Sec. Grimes

A Super PAC supporting Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell is greatly out-performing a similar group that is raising money for Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes.

According to a report in the Courier-Journal, the vast majority of the contributions made to the pro-McConnell group Kentuckians for Strong Leadership come from out-of-state individuals.

That Super PAC this week reported raising nearly $424,000 during the months of May and June. None of that money came from Kentuckians. The single biggest donation came from Sam Fox of St. Louis, the CEO and chairman of a private company that acquires businesses.

Reports filed with the Federal Elections Commission show Kentuckians for Strong Leadership has raised more than $3.7 million dollars since it was formed last year, with less than 5 percent of that coming from donors with Kentucky addresses.

A Super PAC supporting Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes called We Are Kentucky raised $50,000 during the second quarter, while spending nearly $65,000 in that same time period. Since forming last year, the group has raised $343,000, a fraction of what Kentuckians for Strong Leadership has taken in to support Senator McConnell.

Offices of Sen. McConnell and Sec. Grimes

Kentucky’s two U.S. Senate candidates are reporting major fundraising hauls.

Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes says she took in over $4 million during the second quarter ending in June, breaking the record for most money raised by a Kentucky Senate candidate in a single quarter.

That record was previously held by Republican Senator Mitch McConnell, the man Grimes is trying to defeat this November. McConnell raised $2.9 million during the fourth quarter of 2008.

Overall, the Grimes Senate campaign has raised nearly $11.3 million dollars to date.

Shortly after the Grimes camp released their fundraising totals Tuesday, the McConnell campaign announced they raised $3.1 million dollars in the second quarter. The incumbent reported $9.8 million in cash on hand--about $3.6 million more than his Democratic opponent.

The race between Grimes and McConnell is shaping up to be one of the most closely-watched Senate races in the nation, with many analysts predicting it could also be one of the most expensive Senate campaigns in history.

McConnell, Grimes Agree... To Different Debates

Jul 9, 2014
Offices of Sen. McConnell and Sec. Grimes

Sen. Mitch McConnell and Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes have agreed to debate each other - just not at the same time.

Tuesday, McConnell accepted an invitation to a candidate forum sponsored by the Kentucky Farm Bureau on Aug. 20. Grimes, meanwhile, has accepted an invitation to an Oct. 13 debate that would air on Kentucky Educational Television.

But the candidates have yet to agree to a debate they would both attend. One debate, to be hosted by WDRB, was canceled after McConnell accepted but Grimes did not.
 
McConnell has asked Grimes to agree to three debates with no audience and none after Labor Day. Grimes said she wants an audience and debates in September or October when more people will be paying attention to the election.

McConnell, Grimes Disagree on Contraception Case

Jun 30, 2014
Offices of Sen. McConnell and Sec. Grimes

Kentucky's two U.S. Senate candidates disagree on the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to allow some corporations to opt out of a new law requiring them to pay for contraception.
 
Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell called the decision a victory for religious freedom. Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes said churches should be allowed to not provide contraception coverage, but not corporations. She said she supports the right of all women to have access to contraception.
 
It is one of the few times the candidates in one of the country's closest Senate races have sparred on social issues. But more could be coming. McConnell spoke at the National Right to Life convention in Louisville on Saturday. Grimes has said abortion is a choice between a woman, her doctor and her God.

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