MADISONVILLE, KY (WFIE) - Kentucky is now a month away from its primary election.
Western Kentucky voters turned up at the Ballard Convention Center in Madisonville for the chance to hear from candidates on the Democratic side Tuesday evening.
Former Governor Steve Beshear, a Dawson Springs native, was the keynote speaker at the event. His closing remarks sparked a standing ovation from the crowd.
“The election this year is bigger than any of our candidates running for Governor," Beshear said at the podium. “Why? Because the most important thing we can do is beat Matt Bevin in November."
With no clear front runner for their party in 2019, several Democrats are looking to challenge Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin, including Beshear’s son, Andy. He was the only gubernatorial candidate who attended the dinner event Tuesday.
“This is my fourth Ruby Laffoon dinner," the current Kentucky Attorney General said on stage. “Beshear’s know how to show up in western Kentucky. I’m running for your Governor because I am a fighter that gets results."
Kentucky House of Representative Minority Leader Rocky Adkins’ running mate Stephanie Horne spoke on stage in his place.
“If you are looking for someone to represent Kentucky, there is just no better person than Rocky," Horne announced. “He’s a good man and the only one who can beat Bevin.”
Adam Edelen and Geoff Young were not present for the dinner, however supporters were spotted in the crowd.
Advocates for the Hopkins County Democratic Party took the podium to urge people to vote, pointing out the low turnout numbers last election year.
“I would encourage folks to go out and vote. That is our number one thing,” party chair Pat Vincent said. “Because, this fellow that’s in office right now got away with less than 20 percent of the vote. We can’t afford that this time, we have to get our folks to the polls.”
Kentuckians can cast their primary votes May 21.
Before then, Democratic candidates will have one debate. The league of Women’s Voters is partnering with the University of Kentucky to put it on May 15.
The Republican primary is just as crowded.
State Representative Robert Goforth, Northern Kentucky Businessman William Woods, and Entrepreneur Ike Lawrence are challenging Governor Bevin. The candidates were given the opportunity for a debate, but front runners Bevin and Goforth declined.