MURRAY — Calloway County Democratic Party Chairman David Ramey confirmed Tuesday that the party’s candidate for Kentucky governor will headline the list of speakers for next week’s annual Jefferson Jackson Dinner in Murray. 

Andy Beshear, who emerged with a hard-fought win in the Kentucky Democratic primary a couple of weeks ago, committed to speaking at the dinner that is set for next Friday, June 14, at the Curris Center Ballroom on the Murray State University campus. Beshear is currently the commonwealth’s attorney general and will be opposing Republican incumbent Matt Bevin in the November general election. 

“We’re very excited that Andy Beshear, our attorney general and the next governor of Kentucky, will be here,” Ramey said on Tuesday of Beshear, who is on a quest to follow in his father, Steve’s, footsteps to claim the commonwealth’s top political office. “It’s not surprising, really, that he is coming, but obviously there is a lot of enthusiasm and a lot of excitement involved with his campaign right now, so I wanted to make sure everything was firmed up before we could announce it. Well, I can announce that now.

“What an impressive win he had in the primary! Andy is a much better candidate now than he was five months ago because he beat two very good candidates (Rocky Adkins and Adam Edelen) in the primary, so he’s tested. He has a strong record as attorney general for standing up for Kentucky, and his family has deep roots in western Kentucky and I know he’s excited when he’s in western Kentucky.”

Ramey also said the fact that Andy is committing to appear at the dinner is a feather in the proverbial cap for the event itself. 

“It says a lot about the importance of western Kentucky, and about this community,” Ramey said, reminding the public about Steve’s history of serving the western part of the state. “Steve Beshear was a great governor for this community. He finished four-laning KY 80, he funded a lot of projects at Murray State University that needed to be funded and he was a champion of public education, and those are things we still need in the governor’s mansion.

“We need somebody who believes in education, and Andy consistently has stood up for the rule of law concerning Kentucky education law and has consistently won in court when he has fought against this current governor.”

Ramey said the majority of the Kentucky Democratic Party ticket for November will be in Murray. Also confirmed are the Democratic nominees for secretary of state (former Miss America Heather French Henry), state auditor of public accounts (Sheri Donahue) and state treasurer (Michael Bowman). 

“We’ve got a great group of candidates across the board,” Ramey said, referring to the event as a prelude to the start of the November election season, traditionally recognized as being the Fancy Farm Picnic each August in Graves County. 

“We set our dinner when we set it partly for that exact reason. This has, over the years, been an opportunity for the ticket to come together as kind of a dry run for Fancy Farm, and we like where we’ve got our event. It is beneficial to us, it’s beneficial to our region and it’s beneficial to the candidates.

“It’s a wonderful night and, throughout the years, the Kentucky Democratic Party has sent people to our event for people to see how one of these (political dinners) is supposed to be run. And I’ve got to give a mention to Kathy Jo Stubblefield (Calloway assistant chair) and Melisa Stark (the party’s representative on the county’s election board). They do a phenomenal job with this.”

Activities start at 6 p.m. with a social hour, followed dinner being served at 7. Tickets are $35 per person, if paid before Monday, and $40 if paid after that date. A silent auction is also part of the festivities. 

Tickets may be purchased online at https://thecampaignhq.com/purchase-area-dinner/. They also may be purchased at Ramey Insurance, corner of Fourth and Main streets in downtown Murray. 

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