McConnell, challengers set for political showdown

FANCY FARM, Ky. (AP) - Like spectators to a pro-wrestling SmackDown, people have been streaming into the normally quiet western Kentucky community of Fancy Farm to see Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell face two top challengers at, of all places, a church picnic.

Don't let Saturday's venue fool you. Kentucky political activist Ken Moellman says the event will be brutal, with mudslinging and name-calling.

People started arriving Friday on the grounds of St. Jerome Catholic Church, where politicians have gathered for more than a century for an afternoon of in-your-face stump speeches.

The event is a holdover from the days before television, when politicians had to seek out crowds to solicit votes. It draws thousands. Among them this year, McConnell and his foes: Republican primary opponent Matt Bevin and Democratic front-runner Alison Lundergan Grimes.

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