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Mitch McConnell Says He'll Be At Fancy Farm

J. Tyler Franklin
Mitch McConnell speaking in Louisville.

U.S. Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell said he'll attend the Fancy Farm picnic next month to help support a one-time rival.

“I’m looking forward to being there,” McConnell said during a stop in Bullitt County Monday.

Other years he’s missed it, but McConnell said that’s only when there isn’t a big state race in play that year.

This year, Republican Matt Bevin and Democrat Jack Conway are squaring off for the governor’s office. So, this year, Kentucky’s senior senator said he will be making a speech at the picnic. Bevin, a Louisville businessman who narrowly won the Republican nomination for governor, challenged McConnell in last year's Republican Senate primary. McConnell ended up easily winning the nomination after an at time heated campaign.

McConnell, one of the most prominent Republicans in the state and the U.S., said he will also help craft the message for other members of his party making a speech that day.

“We are talking to other people that are participating and hope to make it interesting,” he said.

U.S. Sen.Rand Paul recently announced he won’t attend Fancy Farm but will be campaigning for president in New Hampshire instead.

McConnell stopped in Shepherdsville to talk to local business leaders about his ongoing work in the Senate.

He said he will introduce a highway spending bill he has been working on with Sen. Barbara Boxer, an influential Democratic Senator from California.

“Senator Boxer and I have been in negotiations all weekend,” McConnell said. “I spoke with her yesterday and we are hoping to be able to announce tomorrow a major bipartisan, multiyear highway bill.”

McConnell said the bill would not call for an increase in the gas tax. He did not say, however, how the initiative would be funded.