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Shelby County Democrats to host Collins Dinner

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Will feature candidates for multiple political offices

By Glen Jennings

The primary elections are on the way, and Shelby County’s Democratic Party wants its voters to go to the polls informed.

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The local party will host its annual Martha Layne Collins Dinner Friday, and it has packed the bill with party hopefuls for multiple offices.

“So far, we have Rocky Adkins, Andy Beshear, Adam Edelen, Heather French Henry, Kelsey Hayes Coots, Michael Bowman, Josh Mers and Sheri Donahue,” Shelby County Democratic Party Chair Kathy Mason said.

This field of speakers represents hopefuls for a range of offices, including Governor, Secretary of State, State Auditor and Treasurer.

Mason said she couldn’t say for certain that there will not be other candidates to appear at the event, since as the local Democratic Party has sent invitations to candidates across the ballot for the primary elections.

“We’ve had a lot of soft confirmations,” she said. “These are just the ones who have confirmed that they’re definitely coming.”

Mason said every candidate there would be given a chance to speak directly to their potential voters.

“Although it’s not a forum or a town hall or anything like that, they do have their chance to speak and meet with the people of Shelby County,” she said. “Instead of just reading about them, you get to actually meet them and talk to them face to face, shake their hands and look at them in their eyes and ask them questions. You get to actually hear what they’re saying.”

State Sen. Morgan McGarvey of Louisville will serve as Master of Ceremonies and the keynote speaker will be Congressman John Yarmuth.

“It’s probably going to be just addressing Democratic concerns,” Mason said. “Morgan will probably give us just a little update on what’s going on in Frankfort and Yarmuth will give us a little information on his side in Washington.”

In addition, the event’s namesake, former governor Martha Layne Collins, is a frequent guest and is usually given an opportunity to speak as well.

“She usually says a few words, but I think she likes to hear the candidates speak as well and doesn’t want to take time away from them,” Mason said. “She usually lets them do most of the talking.”

In addition, the party will host a silent auction.

“We auction off items every year. That goes back to a fundraiser for the party,” Mason said. “This is our largest fundraiser of the year.”

The event is Friday, May 10, starting at 6 p.m. at Claudia Sanders Dinner House. Tickets can be purchased at http://www.shelbycokydems.com. The cost $55 in advance or $60 at the door.