In May 14 Issue
Republican candidate for Agriculture Commissioner James Comer visited Russell County Wednesday afternoon as he met with supporters for more than two hours at The Cove Restaurant in Russell Springs.
Comer, from Tompkinsville, is making the Lake Cumberland area one of his main targets as he pushes toward the primary election next Tuesday.
"Russell County is a county of importance in a Republican primary," Comer said. "I feel like the turnout is going to be low statewide, the secretary of state has already predicted it will be less than 10 percent."
He said he was spending the last few days before the election in counties where they could be a higher turnout and he chose Russell as one of his last few stops.
"This is a Republican county and I feel like the turnout may be a bit higher here," he said, noting the ties to the area to Republican gubernatorial candidate David Williams.
Comer said he spent Wednesday with PVA Tim Popplewell meeting with local farmers before the meet and greet at The Cove where elected officials from Russell, Pulaski and surrounding counties attended to show their support.
He said his two main goals were expanding markets for Kentucky farm products as well as enhancing rural economic development.
"I think it is an exciting time to be in agriculture," he said. "We have the potential in Kentucky to really expand our ag industry with the right leadership and I feel like I have the qualifications, the ability and the vision to lead Kentucky agriculture into the future."
Upon graduation from Monroe County High School in 1990, Comer was elected Kentucky State FFA President. He attended Western Kentucky University where he majored in Agriculture and minored in Government. While at WKU, hr received the prestigious Chicago Mercantile Exchange Scholarship - given annually to the top four college agriculture students in the nation.
Upon graduation from WKU in 1993, Comer returned home to work with his father and brother on the family farming operation - Comer Land & Cattle Co. He also started James Comer, Jr. Farms, his own farming operation which consists of 950 acres of commercial beef cattle, managed timber and mixed hay.
In addition to a successful farming operation, Jamie has experience in two other start-up businesses. He formed Comer & Polston Insurance, Inc. and CFB Foods, Inc. Jamie's experience in three different diversified businesses led to his political path in Frankfort, and his being widely considered as one of the most conservative, pro-business legislators in Kentucky.
He was elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives in 2000 receiving an overwhelming majority of 81 percent of the votes for the counties of Cumberland, Green, Metcalfe and Monroe.
Comer has received countless honors including the 2002 National Freshman Republican Legislator of the Year Award, 2003 Jaycees Outstanding Young Kentuckian, 2004 National Federation of Independent Business' Guardian of Small Business Award, 2009 Western Kentucky University Alumnus of the Year, and most recently in 2010 the Davey Crocket Legislator of the Year Award awarded by a delegation of various Kentucky Tea Party organizations located throughout Kentucky. He has been a leader of the Kentucky House Agriculture and Small Business Committee and the Tobacco Settlement Funds Agreement Oversight Committee. He also serves as the most conservative voting member of the Appropriations and Revenue Committee.
Comer is married to Tamara Jo (TJ.) They have three children, including one born just weeks ago, and are members of the First Baptist Church of Tompkinsville.