Fred Nesler resigns 2nd District House seat to take a job at Ag Department

06/08/2012 12:42 PM

Longtime Democratic state Rep. Fred Nesler of Mayfield resigned the 2nd District seat on May 31 to take a job at the state Agriculture Department run by his former Republican House colleague, James Comer.

Nesler has served in the House since 1993 and decided earlier the year not to seek an 11th term. Democrat Kelly Whitaker and Republican Richard Heath are vying to replace Nesler in the November election.

Terry Sebastian, spokesman for Gov. Steve Beshear, said the governor has no plans to call a special election to replace Nesler considering both parties have nominees for the November election in the race to succeed Nesler.

Nesler served through the 2012 General Assembly session before sending in his resignation to Gov. Steve Beshear on May 31.

Holly Harris VonLuehrte, general counsel for the Agriculture Department, said Nesler will serve as deputy executive director of strategic planning and administration and will be based in Frankfort.

“We think he’s going to be a great asset,” VonLuehrte said. “The commissioner isn’t concerned about whether someone is a Republican, a Democrat or an independent. His concern is talent.”

Nesler will earn a salary of $70,000, VonLuehrte said.

Legislators typically earn around $30,000 a year in salary and reimbursements. Because of the General Assembly’s change to state pension laws in 2005, lawmakers who go on to serve in the executive or judicial branches can combine their legislative time of service with the higher pay of their executive or judicial branch jobs.

About Ryan Alessi

Ryan Alessi joined cn|2 in May 2010 as senior managing editor and host of Pure Politics. He is now pursuing an advanced degree in non-fiction writing from Murray State University and is a regular contributor to Pure Politics. Ryan has covered politics for more than 14 years, including seven years as a reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader. Ryan can be reached at purepolitics@twcable.com or @mycn2 on Twitter.

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