Voters in West Kentucky got to see one of the candidates for United States Senate for the first time Saturday. Lexington Mayor, Jim Gray, faces off with Rand Paul and their first speech together was at the 136th Fancy Farm Picnic.
Not everyone in the crowd Saturday came for the speeches and slogans, voters like Tony Kendall came wondering “can they relate to the people?” Kendall’s pick for Senate is Gray. Kendall and a lot of democrats in West Kentucky are were able to put a face with the name at the picnic.
Kendall says it’s a challenge for voters like him. “You have to kind of compensate for that by working a little harder to educate people about people who are running from central Kentucky or Eastern,” he said.
Political analyst Les Fugate says Fancy Farm cannot make a campaign, but it can lose one. “I think Jim Gray did a fine job as far as not making any mistakes, but he didn't do anything to propel himself forward.”
Fugate says Rand Paul struck a chord by comparing not-so-well known Gray to Hillary Clinton. “You'll see that with a lot of candidates,” Fugate commented. “You'll see them tie their opponent to Hillary Clinton so that they know who the conservative candidate is in the fall.”
One republican in the crowd came from Lexington to protest his mayor and support Senator Paul. “When he ran for office he was running as non-partisan. So you don't know what party he is now he steps out and he's very partisan,” said Ken Kearns, Fayette County GOP Vice Chairman.
Kendall left the picnic with one idea for certain. “The people on Kentucky just like the people nationally are very partisan and very divided,” Kendall said.