Comer's transition team includes mix of lawmakers, ag officials and farmers

12/01/2011 10:46 AM

Agriculture Commissioner-elect James Comer released his transition team that includes Republican and Democratic lawmakers and a mix of Kentuckians from the agriculture community.

The list includes some big political names, notably U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell’s former Kentucky director, Larry Cox, as well as a former Republican candidate for governor. No, not David Williams, who represents the Senate district that includes the state House district Comer has represented for 10 years. Phil Moffett, a tea party favorite who lost to Williams by 10 points in the spring primary, is on Comer’s budget subcommittee.

Comer also picked eight of his legislative colleagues: Republican Sens. Carroll Gibson and Paul Hornback, as well as GOP Reps. Tommy Turner, Kim King and Steve Rudy and Democratic Reps. Derrick Graham, Richard Henderson and Royce Adams.

Comer didn’t appoint any registered lobbyists to his transition team, which will be creating a budget for the department and evaluating personnel and new spending transparency policies, as Comer said on his interview Wednesday on Pure Politics.

Administration/Personnel Committee

  • Chairman: Larry Cox, retired district director for U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell
  • Counsel: Holly Harris VonLuehrte, who served as general counsel for the Kentucky Republican Party
  • Sen. Carroll Gibson, R-Leitchfield
  • Sanford Holbrook, a principal from Magoffin County and Kentucky Education Association committee member
  • Rep. Tommy Turner, R-Somerset

Marketing Committee

  • Chairman: Mark Haney, owner of Haney Orchard in Nancy and a KY Farm Bureau president
  • Brent Burchett, Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council aide
  • *Terry Garmon, * former Ag Dept. marketing and promotions executive director and now a real estate agent and auctioneer in Bowling Green
  • Drew Graham, former Clark County judge executive and now an director of advancement at the UK College of Agriculture
  • Lori Osborne of Prospect, who served on Comer’s equine policy advisory panel in the campaign
  • Frank Penn, of Pennbrook Farm in Lexington

State Veterinarian Committee

  • Chairwoman: Brenda Paul, co-owner of Paul Farms in Paris
  • John Greely, stallion breeder at Wintergreen Stallion Station in Midway
  • J. Fritz Giesecke, Hart County cattleman and 2nd vice president of the KY Farm Bureau
  • Dave Maples, executive vice president of the Kentucky Cattleman’s Association
  • Dr. John C. Park, DVM of Park Equine Hospital

Regulations Committee

  • * Chairman: Billy Ray Smith, a Bowling Green Democrat and former Agriculture Commissioner
  • Donnie Blake, manager of Okalona Pest Control of Louisville
  • Dan Caudill, of Caudill Seed and Warehouse in Louisville
  • Dan Flanigan, a Campbellsville farmer and former vice chair of the Council on Postsecondary Education
  • Eddie Melton, farmer from Sebree
  • Rep. Steven Rudy, R-West Paducah
  • Mark Wilson, of Hutson Inc. in Fancy Farm

Budget Subcommittee

  • Chairman Sam Moore of Sam Moore Farms in Morgantown
  • Rep. Royce Adams, D-Dry Ridge
  • Rep. Derrick Graham, D-Frankfort
  • Rep. Richard Henderson, D-Jeffersonville
  • Sen. Paul Hornback, R-Shelbyville
  • Rep. Kim King, R-Lawrenceburg
  • Phil Moffett, former Republican candidate for governor and CEO of the free market think tank, Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions


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