A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Matt Bevin, Andy Beshear fire off familiar jabs in front of rowdy crowd at annual Fancy Farm Picnic


By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

Both gubernatorial candidates, Republican Matt Bevin and Democrat Andy Beshear, used familiar themes during their remarks Saturday at the annual Fancy Farm Picnic and political speaking event in this small western Kentucky community.

Partisans on both sides did some cheering and jeering in a typically rowdy atmosphere as the political rivals faced off. It won’t be the last time with several debates already on the schedule heading into the general election.

Gov. Matt Bevin, left, and Attorney General Andy Beshear went on the offensive at the Fancy Farm Picnic on Saturday. Bevin is holding an enlarged invitation to a Beshear fundraiser hosted by the state’s only abortion clinic. Beshear is shown making a point about his rival in the gubernatorial race. (Photo by Tom Latek, Kentucky Today/)

Bevin hammered Beshear over a fundraiser this week hosted by the owners of EMW Women’s Clinic in Louisville, Kentucky’s only abortion provider.

“The only collusion that has ever happened in Kentucky, is the collusion between this attorney general, Attorney General (Greg) Stumbo before that, and Jack Conway, all the rest of them, and the abortion industry here in Kentucky.”

He also touched on national issues in his speech.

“Are you on the side of sanctuary cities, or are you on the side of protecting the rule of law and securing our borders? Which side are you on? Are you on the side of life, or are you on the side of those that would take lives and profit from the blood money associated with it?”

During his remarks Bevin took on both Andy Beshear and his father, the former governor. “Are you on the side of moving forward without corruption, where people like Steve Beshear, Andy Beshear are not employing people that are now in federal prison for buying and selling this state?”

The state’s ailing public pension system was also addressed by Bevin. “Are you on the side of the only administration, only governor and only legislature to ever in the history of Kentucky to fund the pension system? Or are you on the side of those who have robbed the pension system for year after year after year?”

Beshear told the crowd his family came from this part of the state. “I am the only candidate in this race with western Kentucky roots. But, wait a minute, I’m the only candidate in this race with any Kentucky roots,” referring to Bevin being born in New Hampshire.

He then commented on the little red button with scissors on it that Bevin always wears, which has been his symbol for cutting red tape. “You know, those scissors are a great symbol for his first term. He cut the price of his mansion in half, he slashed the budget of public education, and he’s trying to cut people off health care.”

Beshear said this race comes down to four critical issues, “Pensions, public education, jobs and health care. And on every single one of them, Matt Bevin is wrong.”

He noted Bevin always talks about shoveling out the barn after a long winter. “Well, Governor, here in Kentucky we don’t shovel barns, we muck stalls. And while you’re more show pony than workhorse, you’ve left us a lot of manure. And the only thing we’re shoveling out of Frankfort this fall is you, right out of town.”

Beshear concluded his remarks by saying, “What you heard from our governor today and what you have seen every day in his administration, is trying to create an us versus a them. Under a Beshear/Coleman administration there will only be an us.”


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