FRANKFORT, Ky. (FOX 56) — The time-honored Kentucky tradition of Fancy Farm Weekend has kicked off the start of the Bluegrass political season all the way through Election Day. Between the zingers and rowdy crowds, there are some takeaways from the speeches that are shaping the tone of the campaign trail.

The candidates to lead Kentucky for the next four years only had about five minutes to make their case at Fancy Farm. And the speech snapshot gives a bigger picture of the issues they hope will light a fire in their supporters.


    “See, people here know there’s no Democrat or Republican bridges, that a good job isn’t red or blue,” Gov. Andy Beshear said in his speech.

    “He vetoes tax cuts. He fights for the Biden agenda. He demands that boys play in girls’ sports. He protects transgender surgeries for kids,” Cameron said, referencing Beshear.

    “Gov. Beshear is trying to localize the election—not just make it about Kentucky, but when he was at Fancy Farm, really make it about West Kentucky,” FOX 56 News Political Analyst Jonathan Miller said. “Cameron, on the other hand, is trying to nationalize the election and focus on a lot of the hot-button cultural issues.”

    Much of the issues they touched on—transgender policy, teacher support, the economy, and more—voters have likely already heard about in the campaign ads that are becoming more common on Kentucky TVs. A regular talking point in Cameron’s stump speeches and highlighted in ads by the Bluegrass Freedom Action PAC is the criticism of Beshear over the pandemic-era decision to grant early release to approximately 1700 state inmates who at the time were judged medically vulnerable or had less than six months left to serve.


      “So Andy Beshear let us out back in 2020, and we’re grateful, and we’re back out here free or just out here roaming the streets once again,” said a Cameron supporter posing as a “Beshear Jail Bird” attending the event in an orange jumpsuit.

      In addition to social issues, Cameron’s speech was also critical of Gov. Beshear’s decision-making during the pandemic. Beshear made no mention of those social issues Cameron has pinned against him, but focused his speech more on economic wins and disaster recovery in West Kentucky. Where he did try to knock Cameron, and his running mate, Robby Mills, was on a sore subject lingering from the last administration.
      Andy Beshear

      When I went to court and saved the pensions of every teacher and police officer, Robby was mad. Robby was big mad. Robby said he was the most frustrated he’d ever been, which is exactly how Daniel felt when the best he got was Robby Mills,” Beshear said.

      “And that pension reform has been quite unpopular among teachers and police unions. So that will be an effort to try to again bring the unpopular anti-teacher Bevin policies and try to (stain) Cameron with them.

      If these issues sound a bit familiar to voters already, they’ve been talking points on the campaign trail for a while. But now they’re a lot narrower and more focused because, at this point, the campaigns have a good idea what will resonate with voters and what won’t.