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Speakers confirmed for Fancy Farm political picnic

Gov. Steve Beshear and the two candidates for U.S. Senate — Democratic Jack Conway and Republican Rand Paul — will headline the speakers at the Aug. 7 Fancy Farm political picnic in Graves County.

Mark Wilson, political chairman for the picnic that traditionally starts the fall election campaigns, has released a list of confirmed speakers. The event, on the grounds of St. Jerome Catholic Church in Fancy Farm, is free to the public.

Mongiardo ‘not taking a position’ in U.S. Senate race

Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo

Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo said Tuesday that he is “not taking a position” in the U.S. Senate race between Democrat Jack Conway and Republican Rand Paul.

“I have spoken with Jack Conway the week after election day and haven’t heard from him since,” Mongiardo said Tuesday night before speaking at the Community Action Council’s Poverty Forum in downtown Lexington.

Mongiardo, a physician from Hazard, was defeated by Conway in the Democratic primary last month by less than 1 percentage point.

Mongiardo also said he is not making plans for a gubernatorial run next year.

“I just got out of a heated campaign. The last thing on my mind is another campaign,” Mongiardo said.

Gov. Steve Beshear plans to seek a second term in 2011, but he has chosen Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson as his running mate because Mongiardo entered the race for the U.S. Senate seat now held by retiring Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Southgate.

— Karla Ward

Mongiardo decides against seeking a recanvass

Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo

FRANKFORT — Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo has changed his mind and will not seek a recanvass of votes in Tuesday’s Democratic primary election.

Earlier Wednesday, Mongiardo’s campaign said he would ask for a recanvass since the race between him and Attorney General Jack Conway was so tight.

But in a news release a few hours later, Mongiardo’s campaign said, “Daniel feels it’s time to move forward.”

“This was a difficult decision.,” said Mongiardo. “Many of our supporters have poured their hearts and souls into this campaign and they are heartbroken today. However, upon further reflection, I realize that despite there being less than a 1 percent difference in the vote, a recanvass is extremely unlikely to change the outcome. It would only delay the healing process that needs to take place.”

Conway said in a statement that Mongiardo was a worthy opponent and that “in the Democratic Party, as is the case with most families, sometimes brothers fight. “But when faced with an opposing force, those same brothers stand together to protect their family,” he said.

Conway said he intends to “earn the support” of Mongiardo’s supporters.

–Jack Brammer

Mongiardo will seek recanvass in U.S. Senate race

Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo

FRANKFORT — Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo will ask for a recanvass of Tuesday’s election results in the Democratic primary election for U.S. Senate by the close of business on Wednesday, his campaign said.

In a statement, Mongiardo said he wanted to be sure there were no errors in the reported count. It showed Mongiardo trailing Attorney General Jack Conway by 3,542 out of 520,412 votes cast — a margin of 0.68 percent.

“Make no mistake, Daniel accepts the results and congratulates Jack Conway on his hard-fought race,” said Mongiardo campaign spokesman Kim Geveden . “But Daniel also believes, in a race this close, he owes it to his supporters across the Commonwealth who gave so much of their time, energy and money to our cause, to make sure the results are accurate.”

Under state law regarding a requested recanvass, the secretary of state will notify Kentucky’s county clerks of the date for when the recanvassing process of re-tabulating the results of all absentee ballots and vote machine totals from every precinct will take place.

Conducting a recanvass is not uncommon in close elections and Kentucky’s county clerks are experienced in the process that should be relatively quick and simple, Mongiardo’s campaign said.

–Jack Brammer

Video highlights of U.S. Senate Dems and Lexington mayor’s race

Quotes on Kentucky’s U.S. Senate race

Some quotes after Tuesday’s primary elections for U.S. Senate in Kentucky determined that Republican Rand Paul and Democrat Jack Conway will face each other in the Nov. 2 general election:

Louie Floyd, former Republican judge-executive of Pulaski County, worked for Paul and was at his Bowling Green celebration. “A lot of this is just about Washington,” he said of the vote for Paul. The GOP establishment won’t have any choice but to get behind Paul in the general election, he said

In his victory speech, Paul said, “I think America’s greatness hinges on us doing something to save the country. The Tea Party movement is about saving the country from a mountain of debt that is devouring our country and I think could lead to chaos.”

Paul went after President Barack Obama, saying we have a president “who apologizes for America’s greatness.”

Luallen and Patton say Democrats will be united

AUDIO ON JUMP

Both former governor Paul Patton and State Auditor Crit Luallen are in Louisville to support Jack Conway. But they say whether the state attorney general or Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo win in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, they will present Republican Rand Paul with a united front.
“The Republicans are idealogically divided,” Patton says. “There’s a great difference between Rand Paul and Trey Grayson. The Democrats don’t have that kind of divide. Conway or Mongiardo will have a difficult race, but a very winnable race.”

Luallen says, “Tomorrow morning, you will see a unified Democratic party behind our nominee. And we will be ready to go, and ready to put the fight together for the fall. I don’t think you can say the same thing for the Republican Party. I think they’ve got a long way to go to figure out how they’re going to bring this party together behind their nominee. We’ll be ready for the fight, ready to carry a strong message to the public in the fall.”

State senator for Mongiardo expresses concern

State Sen. Robin Webb, a Democrat from Grayson who supports Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo in the Democratic U.S. Senate primary election, voiced concern about 8:30 p.m. about the race.

Webb said turnout was low in her home area of Greenup and Carter counties, and she hoped a lot more votes would be coming in from the “hinterlands.”

She said it would be hard for Mongiardo to overcome rival Jack Conway’s big victory in Jefferson County after many voters turned out for a competitive mayor’s race in the state’s most populous county.

“It’s all about the numbers,” she said. “It’s possible, but not probable.”

Tom Conway optimistic for son

LOUISVILLE – Jack Conway’s father, Tom Conway, has entered the Marriott feeling optimistic for his son’s chances in the Democratic primary for US Senate.

“I’m encouraged by the turnout in Louisville,” Conway says, adding that since he’s from Western Kentucky, he hopes to see the election breaking his way as returns start coming in from the Central time zone.

Looking back at the race with Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo, Conway says, “Tonight is a night to celebrate, not to throw stones.” But he added, “There were a lot of negative ads. As a father, that’s hard to watch.”

Asked if he would support Mongiardo if he carried the day, Tom Conway says, “I’m not thinking about that. I think he (Jack Conway) is going to pull it out.”

– Rich Copley

Mongiardo expresses optimism early in the evening

FRANKFORT — Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo appeared at his Democratic campaign party around 7:20 p.m. to speak with supporters and reporters, saying he is optimistic about his race for the U.S. Senate.

Mongiardo said he’s hearing positive things from supporters around the state, crediting them for building the “best grassroots organization the state has ever had.

“We’re feeling good right now,” he said, as the crowd in the Capital Plaza Hotel ballroom started to grow.