Marksberry to speak at Fancy Farm; Thanks McConnell for help reaching the stage

07/26/2013 11:40 AM

The first Democrat to enter the primary field to run for the 2014 U.S. Senate race announced he will now be speaking at the annual political picnic, and thanked the five-term Republican Senator for his help in taking the stage.

Ed Marksberry, the former Democratic congressional candidate in the 2010 race against Republican U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie and Owensboro home builder, told Pure Politics he’s glad organizers are allowing him to speak at the event.

Organizers of the picnic initially told Marksberry and others that only constitutional office holders and federal delegates would be allowed to speak because it is an off election year.

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Matt Bevin was allowed onto the speaking stage earlier this week along with McConnell and Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes after he filed paperwork as a candidate, according to the Fancy Farm political chairman.

But it was McConnell who Marksberry applauded for getting him a seat amongst the other candidates in the 2014 U.S. Senate race.

“I got to take my hat off to old Mitch for helping me out there,” Marksberry told Pure Politics in a telephone interview.

McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton called on the picnic to invite all of the other announced challengers to the five-term senator.

“As the Nation’s leading champion of the first Amendment, Mitch supports the right of every Kentuckian to speak out. Our campaign calls on picnic organizers to invite other primary contender Gurley L. Martin to participate. We also call on the other two announced Democrats, Greg Leichty and Bennie J. Smith to be invited as well,” Benton said in a statement. “We look forward to Fancy Farm a wonderful Kentucky tradition.”

Marksberry has been critical of the Kentucky Democratic Party for promoting Grimes after she announced her entrance into the race, and he said he plans to make an official complaint in the coming weeks.

While Marksberry said he “never prepare(s)” for a speech he did say he will “speak from the heart” which might include a blast against both parties.

“If you don’t own a coal mine…or run a big pharmaceutical company you don’t matter,” he said.


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