FANCY FARM, Ky. — Kentucky's political Super Bowl is shaping up with just over a week until the time-honored picnic takes place in western Kentucky. A pair of Democrats were confirmed as speakers on Wednesday, and Sen. Rand Paul was added as a tentative yes.

What You Need To Know

  • The 142nd Fancy Farm picnic will be held Saturday, Aug. 6

  • The political tradition for statewide candidates will heavily feature Republicans for the second year in a row

  • Gov. Andy Beshear and Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman have declined their invitations

  • Sen. Rand Paul is a tentative yes, assuming the Senate is in recess

Recent additions to the speaking roster include 2023 gubernatorial candidate Rep. Savannah Maddox (R) and Sen. Rand Paul (R), who's seeking re-election against Democrat Charles Booker. Booker is one of just three Democrats confirmed for the event, with 1st Congressional district candidate Jimmy Ausbrooks and the state's Democratic Party Chair Colmon Elridge being added to the blue ranks. Elridge is speaking "on behalf of the Democratic party," organizers said. 

With Kentucky House Speaker David Osborne set to emcee the festivities, this year's Fancy Farm will again be heavily stacked with Republicans. Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear will miss the picnic for the second straight year. He shared last week that he and his wife will be visiting Israel at the time. 

Confirmed so far to attend are Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, Auditor Mike Harmon, Kentucky Agricultural Commissioner Ryan Quarles and Maddox — four of the nine Republicans running to unseat Gov. Beshear in 2023.

Also attending are Treasurer Allison Ball, Secretary of State Michael Adams, Congressman Jamie Comer, State Rep. Richard Heath and State Senator Jason Howell, all Republicans.

The picnic — also known for its tasty barbecue — draws large crowds and is a rite of passage for statewide candidates in Kentucky.

Sen. Rand Paul is a tentative yes, assuming the Senate is in recess by August 6, organizers said. Kentucky's senior Senator Mitch McConnell has yet to confirm or deny his attendence.


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