FRANKFORT — Expect some fancy talking at the Fancy Farm picnic in western Kentucky as the fall political campaign season gets off to a rousing start.
Much of the spotlight will be on the gubernatorial race with incumbent Republican Matt Bevin and Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear. They will have eight minutes apiece to bend the ears of an audience that knows how to have fun.
Other candidates will also have their moments in the sun during the weekend festivities on the grounds of St. Jerome Church in far western Kentucky.
The local statehouse delegation, Sen. Stan Humphries and Rep. Richard Heath, will lead things off, with each allotted two minutes for their remarks.
Members of Kentucky’s Congressional delegation are next with U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell and 1st District Congressman James Comer each getting six minutes.
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul has informed picnic officials that he will not be attending because of being on a mission trip performing eye surgeries.
Bevin and Beshear have eight minutes for their speeches after which their running mates, Ralph Alvarado and Jacqueline Coleman, have three minutes apiece.
Candidates for the rest of the Constitutional offices — secretary of state, attorney general, auditor of public accounts, treasurer and agriculture commissioner — have all committed to attend. Each will be allocated four minutes for their remarks.
The final speakers of the day will be the two candidates for the vacant Supreme Court seat representing western Kentucky: Court of Appeals Judge Christopher Shea Nickell of Paducah and State Sen. Whitnet Westerfield of Hopkinsville, each of whom has three minutes.
As the General Election on Nov. 5 draws closer, there will be a number of opportunities to hear the Gubernatorial candidates.
There will be five televised debates between the two scheduled for the month of October, most of which will be carried on several Kentucky television stations. The dates and locations are:
October 3: Paducah Chamber of Commerce in Paducah
October 15: League of Women Voters in Lexington
October 26: League of Women Voters in Louisville
October 28: KET in Lexington, but broadcast statewide
October 29: Northern Kentucky University in Highland Heights
Additionally, Alvarado and Coleman will participate in the televised KET debate for lieutenant governor candidates on Oct. 21.
The deadline to register to vote in the November General Election is Monday, Oct. 7. State elections officials are hoping for a better turnout than for the last gubernatorial election in 2015 when less than 31-percent of registered voters headed to the polls.