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Gubernatorial hopefuls coming to dinner

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Edelen confirmed Tuesday he's coming

By Randy Patrick

UPDATED April 24, 12 p.m. All four of the Democratic candidates for governor have said they’re coming to the Nelson County party’s annual dinner Friday at the Bardstown Country Club.

County Democratic Chairman Kenny Fogle said Attorney General Andy Beshear and House Minority Floor Leader Rocky Adkins have given him verbal commitments that they will attend the yearly spring fundraiser, and Geoff Young, a Lexington lawyer and perennial candidate, already has his ticket for the event. Former State Auditor Adam Edelen’s campaign confirmed Tuesday that he would be there.

Fogle said that all the candidates for the statewide constitutional offices except for lieutenant governor have been invited.

“Every candidate that shows up will be given a few minutes to speak,” he said, except the lieutenant governor candidates. They will be asked to speak only if the person at the top of their ticket isn’t there.

The other statewide executive offices are for secretary of state, attorney general, auditor, treasurer and commissioner of agriculture.

Fogle said that former Attorney General Greg Stumbo, who is seeking that office again and is unopposed in the primary, and former first lady Heather French Henry, who is running for secretary of state, have confirmed they will attend.

Candidates for the nonpartisan 3rd District Kentucky Court of Appeals seat, Judge Michael Caperton of Eastern Kentucky, and Jacqueline Caldwell, a Nelson County lawyer, will also attend, Fogle said.

Tickets are $45 per person ($25 for members of the Young Democrats) and the cash will be split between the Democratic Party of Nelson County and the Nelson County Democratic Woman’s Club. There will also be a dessert auction that will benefit the women’s group. Last year the auction raised almost as much money as the tickets.

Fogle said about half of the 200 tickets have already been sold.

“We anticipate it’ll be sold out,” Fogle said.

Tickets may be purchased at www.nelsoncountydemocrats.com or by contacting Fogle at (502) 827-1525 or nelsonkydems@gmail.com.

The event at the Maywood clubhouse will begin with a cocktail hour from 6 to 7 p.m., followed by the meal at 7 (the main entrée is chicken marsala), and then the candidates will speak afterward. There will also be a cash bar.

The event is the biggest local Democratic fundraiser each year for the party and women’s club together.

Until last year, it was called the Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner, when it was renamed the Democratic Party of Nelson County Annual Dinner.

Fogle said anyone who wants to buy a ticket to attend may do so. It’s not just open to Democrats and independents.

Margie Bradford of the Nelson County Democratic Woman’s Club encouraged voters to attend, meet the candidates and learn what they can about them before the May 21 primary, only six weeks away.

“I don’t think there’s any substitute for looking somebody in the face and kind of taking their measure,” Bradford said.

If they have questions of the candidates, she said, it might be a good time to ask them one-on-one.

Democratic statewide candidates in the primary are:

Governor and lieutenant governor – Adam Edelen and Gill Holland, Andy Beshear and Jacqueline Coleman, Rocky Adkins and Stephanie Horne, Geoff Young and Josh French

Secretary of state – Jason Belcher, Jason Griffith, Heather French Henry, Geoff Sebesta

Attorney general – Greg Stumbo

Auditor of public accounts – Kelsey Hayes Coots, Drew Curtis, Sheri Donahue, Chris Tobe

Treasurer – Michael Bowman, Josh Mers

Commissioner of agriculture – Robert Haley Conway, Joe Trigg.