Beshear, Westerfield go "toe-to-toe;" Edelen, Harmon square off on values

08/01/2015 07:51 PM

FANCY FARM — Democratic attorney general candidate Andy Beshear and Republican candidate Whitney Westerfield traded barbs face-to-face on Saturday with both referencing cosmetic treatments to feet and toes.

The reference dates back to a 2007 personnel report first detailed by Pure Politics in mid-July.

An August 2007 entry in Westerfield’s personnel file cites complaints with courtesy, professionalism and attitude. The file says that, “Personal interests often take priority over work duties,” including “Teeth Cleaning vs. Jury Trial,” “Pedicure vs. Arraignments,” and “Cell Phone in Court.”

And it was the pedicures which both Beshear and Westerfield mentioned in their speeches on Saturday. Beshear spoke first and he quickly went to the report.

“Fancy Farm is that special time of year when politicians try to avoid putting their foot in their mouth,” Beshear said. “Well, we know if my opponent puts his foot in his mouth it’ll be clean, well trimmed and polished.”

A “pedicure booth” had been erected near the speaking pavilion where a man dressed as a bottle of red nail polish held a sign reading, “Free pedicure in honor of Whitney Westerfield.”

“So Whitney, stop by. At least you won’t have to miss court this time,” Beshear quipped from the stage.

Beshear went on to detail his vision for the office of attorney general, which includes better protection kids against child abuse, ending the spread of illegal drugs like heroin and protecting senior citizens.

Taking another swipe at Westerfield, Beshear referenced a report from March when Westerfield flubbed a question about the operating budget of the attorney general’s office posed on the floor of the Senate.

Westerfield fired back on Beshear’s pedicure comment as soon as he stepped to the podium, looking at the Democrat and saying, “I did cut it pretty close Andy. I did have a pedicure at lunch, but you know what, I’m ready to go toe-to-toe with you right now.”

Over the course of his four-minutes speech, Westerfield continued the attack on Beshear and his father, Gov. Steve Beshear. On the stage, Westerfield linked the huge fundraising haul for Beshear to his father.

“You could donate to Andy Beshear like everybody else has, and maybe you’ll get a board appointment from the governor,” Westerfield said.

“If you’re with these guys you’re voting for an Obama loving, EPA supporting, job shirking liberals who are continuing to run Kentucky into the ground,” he said of the Democratic slate.

Westerfield, as he has throughout the campaign, highlighted his five years as a part-time assistant commonwealth’s attorney and his service in the General Assembly.

“All he does is represent big-city corporations, but we don’t know who, and get well connected with his dad’s friends, but we don’t know what or how,” he said. “There’s no education in the second kick of a mule, there’s no point beating a dead horse, and there’s no sense in electing another Beshear.”

Auditor’s race

As expected at Fancy Farm, jabs were thrown in nearly every speech on Saturday. But one shot thrown by Rep. Mike Harmon was quickly parried by incumbent Auditor Adam Edelen.

Harmon spoke first and he questioned Edelen’s upbringing.

“I know Adam talks a lot about being born into a farm family in Meade County, but did you know he actually went to an elite prep-school in Louisville?” Harmon asked.

When Edelen spoke, he mentioned the bipartisan initiatives his office has been working on, but he sought to deflect the criticisms of his personal story.

Edelen told the crowd of his family afforded him “every opportunity to do big things in life.”

“It’s because I was blessed with two parents who skinned their knuckles and worked hard to make sure I had every opportunity,” he said. “One of those folks is my father Larry Edelen, here, who is a Meade County farmer.

“And let me tell you something, Mike. I got the education you mocked because this man was never late on a child support payment. Those are true family values.”

Calling the comments from Harmon “totally off limits,” Larry Edelen explained Edelen’s upbringing in split custody. The elder Edelen also defended his son’s knowledge of farming, saying he “knows what farm is.”

About Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics, the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like the connection between the high profile Steubenville, Ohio rape and a Kentucky hacker whose push for further investigation could put him in federal prison. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickStorm_cn2. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or



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