Agriculture Commissioner – Bluegrass Politics Covering Kentucky politics and government Fri, 09 Oct 2015 06:22:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 UK Student Government sponsors Oct. 12 forum with down-ticket candidates Tue, 06 Oct 2015 19:38:02 +0000 Richard Heath seeks recanvass in GOP race for agriculture commissioner Thu, 21 May 2015 18:21:44 +0000 Richard Heath of Mayfield, a Republican candidate for agriculture commissioner in Tuesday's primary election, asked Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes Thursday for a statewide recanvass. Unofficial vote totals currently show Heath wth a 1,427-vote deficit to his opponent, state Rep. Ryan Quarles of Georgetown. Grimes, the state's chief election official, said she will forward Heath's request to all county clerks and remind them of the procedures for a recanvass. "Our office is always available to assist county boards of elections in any way we can," Grimes said. "Integrity in our elections processes is crucial, and Kentuckians deserve to know that their votes are properly counted and tabulated." On Wednesday, Grimes received a statewide recanvass request from James R. Comer and Chris McDaniel, Republican candidates for governor and lieutenant governor. They trail the GOP ticket of Matt Bevin and Jenean Hampton by 83 votes out of 214,187 cast. County boards of elections will convene at 9 a.m. May 28 to recheck and recanvass the voting machines. Immediately upon completion of the recanvass, the county boards of elections will file their recanvass reports with Grimes. ]]> KET schedules programs for May primary candidates Thu, 26 Mar 2015 21:05:27 +0000 Candidates for state offices urged to file before Jan. 27 deadline Mon, 05 Jan 2015 19:44:29 +0000 Alison Lundergan Grimes reminded Monday that persons interested in running for state office this year have until Jan. 27 to file. But she suggested filing earlier than that in case filing papers need to be corrected. Kentucky law does not provide an opportunity to correct or re-file paperwork after the filing deadline of 4 p.m. Jan. 27, said Grimes, the state's chief election official. The offices of governor and lieutenant Governor, secretary of state, attorney general, auditor of public accounts, state treasure and commissioner of agriculture are on the ballot in Kentucky in 2015. Candidates may access the filing forms required at --Jack Brammer ]]> Jean-Marie Lawson Spann files to run for state agriculture commissioner Wed, 12 Nov 2014 22:11:07 +0000 With family members looking on, Jean-Marie Lawson Spann files for state agriculture commissioner.By Jack Brammer FRANKFORT – Farm radio show host Jean-Marie Lawson Spann made her Democratic bid for state agriculture commissioner official Wednesday by filing papers signed by former Gov. Paul Patton and former Agriculture Commissioner Billy Ray Smith. With her husband, Bobby Spann of Union, and her parents, Sam and Beverly Lawson of Bowling Green, at her side, Lawson Spann filed her declaration papers in the secretary of state’s office in the Capitol. Her mother will be her campaign treasurer. Her campaign manager will be named later, she said. Lawson Spann had announced in June that she would be seeking the office now held by Republican James Comer of Tompkinsville. Comer is running for governor next year. Lawson Spann is in her 10th year as host of the Jean-Marie Ag Show, a radio show about farm news. She is vice president of marketing for Lawson Marketing Inc. and a former vice president of marketing for Hartland Equipment. A graduate of Western Kentucky University, Lawson Spann was a two-term state president of the Kentucky Young Democrats, secretary of the Democratic Party State Central Executive Committee, and a delegate to the 2004 Democratic National Convention. Her husband is vice president of external affairs for Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport. Lawson Spann is the only candidate to file so far for agriculture commissioner. State Sen. Dennis Parrett, D-Elizabethtown, had considered running for the seat but announced in September decided that he will not. Patton and Smith are part of Lawson Spann’s so-called “Ag-Mazing Army.” Others who have endorsed her candidacy include former Govs. Julian Carroll and Martha Layne Collins, U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth of Louisville, former auditor and lieutenant governor-to-be Crit Luallen, former agriculture commissioners Ed Logsdon and David Boswell, and House Speaker Pro Tem Larry Clark. ]]> Democratic state Sen. Parrett eyeing possible run for state farm commissioner Wed, 27 Aug 2014 20:38:02 +0000 Dennis Parrett, a Democratic state senator from Elizabethtown, is “definitely considering” running for state agriculture commissioner in 2015. He said Wednesday that he will decide within the next few weeks whether to enter the race that already has attracted a Democratic candidate. “I have an interest in seeing agriculture move forward in this state,” Parrett, a farm supplier who has represented the 10th Senate district of Hardin and part of Jefferson County since 2011, said in a telephone interview. Parrett, who will turn 55 on Oct. 30, had no opposition in this year's primary and general elections for his legislative seat. He is a farmer and the co-owner of Cecilia Farm Service in Hardin County. He is a former agriculture extension agent in Hardin and Nelson counties and holds a bachelor’s of science degree in agricultural economics from the University of Kentucky. Jean-Marie Lawson Spann, a Democrat who is the host of a weekly radio show about farm news in Kentucky, announced her plans in June to run for state agriculture commissioner next year. She is vice president of marketing for Lawson Marketing Inc. and a former vice president of marketing for Hartland Equipment in Bowling Green. Asked about running against Lawson Spann, Parrett said, “I would not be running against her. I would be running for the office.” Lawson Spann said in an email that she is focused on running her campaign. “I have a plan to recruit and grow markets for our farmers’ products, to grow jobs and to improve Kentucky’s economy,” she said. “I do not think it is appropriate for me to comment about someone who is not officially committed to running for the office.” The current state agriculture commissioner, Republican James Comer, has decided to run next year for governor. He is to officially announce his candidacy and running mate Sept. 9 in his hometown of Tompkinsville. ]]> Democrat Jean-Marie Lawson Spann expected to jump into state ag race this week Mon, 16 Jun 2014 16:09:21 +0000 Three former agriculture employees settle ethics charges Mon, 20 May 2013 20:24:46 +0000 Prosecutors say Richie Farmer’s alleged wrongdoing started before 2008 Mon, 20 May 2013 17:05:51 +0000 Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer By Beth Musgrave FRANKFORT — Former Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer misused state resources to further his personal and political agendas prior to 2008, federal prosecutors allege in court documents filed late Friday. Prosecutors said Farmer, who was agriculture commissioner from 2004 to 2011, was only charged with alleged improprieties from 2008 to 2011 because a five-year statute of limitations prohibits them from pursuing alleged wrongdoing before that time. Still, prosecutors said they plan to introduce evidence about Farmer’s conduct prior to 2008 during trial to bolster their argument that Farmer had an “unwarranted sense of entitlement.” Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenneth Taylor said prosecutors plan to show that Farmer improperly influenced the hiring, promoting and rewarding of more employees than the three who are mentioned in an April indictment of Farmer. Testimony and evidence also will show that Farmer, a former beloved University of Kentucky basketball player and once rising star in the Republican Party, tried to influence private vendors to provide goods and services to him or the department.]]> Prosecutors want Farmer trial moved to fall Thu, 09 May 2013 17:06:33 +0000 Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer By Beth Musgrave FRANKFORT — Federal prosecutors want the trial of former Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer moved to this fall and say defense lawyers' request to move the trial to February 2014 is unreasonable, according to documents filed Thursday. Lawyers for Farmer filed a motion earlier this week asking U.S. District Court Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove to delay the July 2 trial until February 2014 "at the earliest." J. Guthrie True, a lawyer for Farmer, said he had multiple scheduling conflicts and more than 16 compact discs of evidence against Farmer to review, making a July 2 trial impossible. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenneth Taylor, in a response filed in the federal court case, agreed that the case against Farmer — who faces multiple charges of misusing more than $450,000 in taxpayer funds — is complex but said that delaying the trial to February 2014 was "excessive." Taylor asked that the judge set a trial date for the fall. Taylor noted in court filings that the case against Farmer is "an important case of public interest, and litigation should proceed at a reasonable pace."]]> 1