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Barr, state officials come to Gaffney farm to support Fister

More than a hundred people attended a rally Monday night for Republican state House candidate Dan Fister, including U.S. Representative Andy Barr and three of the state’s constitutional officers. The event was held at the Gaffney farm on Big Sink Road, in a barn with doors open to allow a good breeze; half or so of the attendees wore protective masks. Among the speakers were state Auditor Mike Harmon, Secretary of State Michael Adams and state Senator Ralph Alvarado, the running mate of former Gov. Matt Bevin last year. Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles also attended, as did 7th District state Senate candidate Adrienne Southworth. The rally began with a prayer from Shelley Gaffney, then a word-by-word reading of the Pledge of Allegiance by her and her husband, Bobby. He read a word, then she read the definition of that word. The Gaffneys then led the audience through the entire pledge, with a couple of attendees adding, at the end, “Born and unborn.” Adams noted that in-person voting would begin the following day, and encouraged attendees to vote early, which would allow for more social distancing on Election Day. He asked the crowd to send Dan Fister to the state House, saying, “We’ve got a bunch of angry Democrats that want to change our laws in a permanent way beyond this COVID-19 crisis and move us to a mail-in ballot system. … That is not what we have in Kentucky and we’ll not have that as long as we have Republicans and conservatives running Frankfort.” Adams said Fister supports his efforts to require voter IDs at polling places and clean up voter rolls and again stressed the importance of voting early, in part to protect the health of voters and poll workers. He predicted a GOP ticket sweep. Barr, a Lexington native, was introduced as Woodford County’s favorite son. “I’m here tonight to support Dan Fister for the state House of Representatives. We need Dan. Dan has all the right principles, he has all the right values, he believes in what we believe in, he’s a patriot, and he’s going to win this election,” Barr said. Barr said there was another reason he admired Fister, who lost two previous bids to win the 56th District seat – persistence. “As you all know, it took me a couple of times to win this seat, and I had to defeat someone from Woodford County,” he said. (Barr defeated former U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler, whose family owns the Sun, in 2012.) Barr said he wouldn’t give a long speech because he wanted the evening to be about Fister, but he spent a few minutes blasting congressional Democrats. “I don’t have to tell you what’s at stake. What’s on the ballot is no less than freedom versus socialism. You know, in days past and elections past, that might have been hyperbole. It’s not – folks, it’s not. I’ve seen it with my own eyes, I’ve heard it with my own ears, I witness it day in and day out in the fights in the Congress of the United States,” Barr said. Barr said congressional Democrats would “stop at nothing to take our country in a radical direction. But fortunately, we have one heck of a (U.S. Supreme Court) nominee in Amy Coney Barrett …” Barr criticized Vice President Joe Biden for not taking a public position on ending the filibuster or packing the Supreme Court and suggested something might be wrong with him. “Now, I don’t know if it’s evidence of incapacity, that he says what the Republican Senate majority is doing is unconstitutional, or whether it’s just that he’s trying to mislead the American people, but what Senate Majority Leader McConnell is doing is exactly what the Constitution prescribes,” Barr said. Short speeches by Alvarado, Harmon and others followed before Fister took the stage. He began by recognizing other candidates, from Southworth to Versailles Councilmember Fred Siegelman, and promised a short speech. “There’s been a lot of talking tonight and I’m between you and the food, so …” he said, which brought hearty chuckles from the crowd. “I promise to keep it under an hour-and-a-half.” Fister thanked the speakers, the attendees, and his wife, Vickie, and his family, for allowing him to spend so much time on this and past campaigns and always being supportive. “I miss so much time with these people so I can be out doing the political thing,” he said. “And I really don’t mind it, because I’m working for you all, and that’s what I want to be doing. But I want to thank them for putting up with all this stuff.” Fister said he and campaign aides had knocked on more than 35,000 doors in the 56th District and made more than 40,000 phone calls, and asked for continued financial support from attendees and their friends. Fister asked how many had been represented by someone who knocked on their door before an election, then disappeared for two years. “That’s not going to be me,” he said. “My door will always be open.”

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