In short, not often.
The most significant connection to Northern Kentucky at Fancy Farm this year was an appearance from former state House Rep. Buddy Wheatley (D-Covington), who is running for secretary of state.
The city of Fancy Farm hosted the 143rd St. Jerome Picnic this past weekend. As part of the annual festival, invited politicians spew jabs and insults at each other in front of a partisan crowd that’s usually both jeering and booing.
This year all constitutional seats are up for reelection. So candidates for governor, secretary of state, agriculture commissioner, treasurer, attorney general, and state auditor participated, along with Sen. Mitch McConnell and Congressman James Comer.
The gloves came off between Wheatley and current Secretary of State Michael Adams, a Republican, but neither spent any time talking about NKY.
In his four-minute speech, Wheatley threw a few jabs at Adams but mainly focused on his stump speech, which included blaming Adams for significant issues with voter suppression and historic low voter turnout.
Adams hit back at Wheatley’s voting record in the state legislature.
“He’s voted against expanding election audits,” Adams said. “He’s voted against transition to paper ballots … this guy is far out.”
The Brent Spence Bridge and Eric Deters
Few people expected to hear Eric Deters’ name at this year’s Fancy Farm. The former Northern Kentucky attorney ran for the Republican nominee for governor in the spring and lost out to the eventual nominee, Attorney General Daniel Cameron.
Despite planning to run for governor in 2022, Deters wasn’t invited to speak at last year’s picnic. Still, the front two rows behind the press tables were filled with Deters supporters, and he gave a stump speech on church grounds before anybody’s arrival.
But Deters has a way of making headlines, and Gov. Andy Beshear brought him up Saturday.
“Cameron is here, though,” Beshear quipped. “He recently told Eric Deters he would go to his big rally but then backed out. He told Eric, ‘He really wanted to come. He really did, but he had other things to do.’ That’s exactly what Ryan Quarles told Daniel Cameron.”
Beshear referenced Cameron backing out of Freedom Fest — an annual picnic on Deters’ farm where he brings in national Republican speakers, such as Donald Trump Jr. But, Cameron only backed out of the picnic after pressure from Rep. Thomas Massie over racial slurs Deters’ used in his YouTube videos.
Beshear later called on public officials to condemn Deters’ remarks, alluding to Cameron’s silence.
While Beshear spent some time attacking Cameron and the GOP, he primarily focused on the positive of his first term in office, which he said includes a strong economy and a state budget surplus — something Republicans argue is due to the Republican-led legislature.
But, Beshear also mentioned funding for the Brent Spence Bridge (without tolls), a crucial point of Beshear’s reelection campaign.
“We’re getting the biggest projects done in our history,” Beshear said. “We’re four-laning Mountain Parkway, building the Brent Spence Bridge without tolls, and moving I-69 forward all at the same time.”
In early 2022, Beshear said he wanted to break ground on the project in 2023. He appeared in Covington a week before Fancy Farm and said that breaking ground on the project is important to his campaign.
“I certainly hope it doesn’t hurt,” Beshear said, adding that he is committed to getting it done regardless of politics. “That’s what I’m committed to; I want this for the people of Northern Kentucky.”