U.S. Senate seat race heats up at Fancy Farm

FANCY FARM, KY — Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo accused Attorney General Jack Conway on Saturday of standing up for "the silver spoon crowd" — the rich and powerful, reports The Lexington Herald-Leader in its Sunday edition.

But Conway, Mongiardo's opponent in May's Democratic primary election for the U.S. Senate, shot back that Mongiardo, an ear, nose and throat surgeon, had "misdiagnosed" him.

"When it comes to me, you can't hear the truth, you can't smell the truth and you sure as hell can't speak the truth," Conway said.

Mongiardo and Conway provided the most potent verbal fireworks at Saturday's 129th annual Fancy Farm picnic, which traditionally kicks off the election season.

The picnic — emceed by Al Cross, director of the Institute for Rural Journalism at the University of Kentucky — focused on next year's U.S. Senate race.

Republican Senator Jim Bunning of Southgate announced last week he would not seek a third term. Four Democrats and three Republicans have expressed an interest in capturing the seat.

While the Republican candidates at the picnic spoke little of each other, Mongiardo and Conway threw some stinging barbs as they gear up for a fight.

Mongiardo, who lost to Bunning in 2004, attacked Conway at the picnic and earlier in the day at the Graves County Democratic breakfast on the controversial issue of President Barack Obama's energy policy.

It is commonly known as "cap and trade," which involves an effort to cap carbon emissions from coal-generating plants and allowing companies to trade credits for pollution control.

Mongiardo claimed Conway supports the policy, which he said would increase electric rates by raising the cost of coal.

He called it "Jack's energy tax."

Conway said he would not do anything to hurt Kentucky coal. He also noted that he served six years in the administration of Gov. Paul Patton, "a coal governor," reports The Lexington Herald-Leader.

Copyright - The Lexington Herald-Leader

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