James Comer (politician)

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James Comer
Agriculture Commissioner of Kentucky
Assumed office
January 2, 2012
Governor Steve Beshear
Preceded by Richie Farmer
Member of the Kentucky House of Representatives
from the 53rd district
In office
January 2001 – January 2, 2012
Preceded by Billy Polston
Succeeded by Bart Rowland
Personal details
Born (1972-08-19) August 19, 1972 (age 42)
Tompkinsville, Kentucky, United States
Political party Republican
Alma mater Western Kentucky University
Religion Baptist

James R. Comer (born August 19, 1972) is an American politician and member of the Republican Party from the Commonwealth of Kentucky who has served as the Agriculture Commissioner of Kentucky since 2012. He previously served in the Kentucky House of Representatives from 2000 to 2012 and is currently the only Republican holding a non-federal statewide elected office in Kentucky.

Comer is seeking the Republican nomination for Governor of Kentucky in the 2015 election.

Early life and education[edit]

Comer is a native of Tompkinsville, Kentucky. He received a bachelor's degree in agriculture from Western Kentucky University. In college, he served as President of the Kentucky Future Farmers of America. After college, he started a 2,300 acres (950 ha) farm with his family. He also served as a director of a local bank for twelve years.

Early political career[edit]

He served as President of the Monroe County Chamber of Commerce from 1999 until his 2000 election to the Kentucky House of Representatives at the age of 27. He served in the House until 2012, when he became Commissioner of Agriculture.

Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture[edit]

In 2011, Comer ran for the position of Agriculture Commissioner; the incumbent, Richie Farmer, was term limited. In the election, Comer was the only Republican to win election to a statewide executive office. Comer had the highest percentage of the vote of any candidate on the ballot. He raised $606,766 while his opponent raised $204,287.[1] He took office on January 2012 and is eligible for re-election in 2015. One of his first actions in office was teaming up with Democratic Auditor Adam Edelen to investigate his Republican predecessor's ethical issues while in office.

Shortly after taking office, Comer labeled the legalization of industrialized hemp as his top priority.[2][3]

2015 gubernatorial election[edit]

On August 2, 2014, during the annual Fancy Farm picnic, Comer announced he would seek the Republican nomination for Governor of Kentucky in the 2015 election.[4] His running mate is State Senator Christian McDaniel.[5] Comer is currently 83 votes behind businessman Matt Bevin in the May 19, 2015 primary election. The Associated Press, referring to the race a "virtual tie", has not called the race in favor of either candidate. In addition, Comer has refused to concede and has stated that he will ask for a recanvass. [6]

Personal life[edit]

Comer is married to Tamara Jo "TJ" Comer and has three children, one boy and two girls. He is a Member of First Baptist Church of Tompkinsville, but has attended Forks of the Elkhorn Baptist Church since his election to the office of Agriculture Commissioner.[7][8] On May 5, 2015, he was accused of physical and mental abuse by Marilyn Thomas, a woman he dated while attending Western Kentucky University.[9]


External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Richie Farmer
Agriculture Commissioner of Kentucky