Democrat running for Agriculture Commissioner says Comer has done a 'good job'

08/10/2014 03:41 PM

GILBERTSVILLE — Jean-Marie Lawson Spann, a Democratic candidate for Agriculture Commissioner, says current Republican head of the department, James Comer, who is running for governor — has done a “good job” and she wants to expand on his vision.

“He has started many good programs, but now we, and me as commissioner, want to put together the best folks in Kentucky agriculture to help complete these programs,” Lawson Spann said adding that she would keep the current staff on board — and expand the current programs.

While Comer re-worked how the Department of Agriculture operates after former Commissioner Richie Farmer, he gained as much notoriety for his push for hemp — getting a provision passed through the general assembly in 2013 for pilot projects to study the viability of seed types and urban production.

Lawson Spann, who announced her run in June, said if she were elected she would look to the studies to figure out a next step.

“We want to continue to explore hemp,” Lawson Spann said. “We will continue to let the universities study it — they are the best minds and folks to be studying it, and then we’ll follow up on that to see that if it’s an opportunity that’s great for our farmers then let’s do it.”

Pure Politics caught up with Lawson Spann in Gilbertsville before the Democratic Bean Supper, and asked about her main priorities for the department and how she would enact those key points.

Lawson Spann, a radio host and first time candidate, abruptly excused herself from the interview after the second question and then came back and re-started the conversation.


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