GOP Ag Commish candidate Comer says opponent would be 'harmful' to Ky. if elected

09/25/2011 07:23 PM

Kentucky’s agriculture industry risks being set back and the Department of Agriculture having its budget gutted if Democrat Bob Farmer wins the commissioner’s race, said Republican candidate James Comer.

“He is just a disgrace to this office … I’m trying to be nice and positive. But this guy knows absolutely nothing about agriculture or the office. He has no plan, no agenda. He would be very harmful to Kentucky, if elected,” Comer said Wednesday in an interview on Pure Politics. (That part starts at 6:57 of the interview.)

Farmer has responded to that line of attack by saying current Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer had no farming experience before taking office. Farmer, who runs a marketing firm in Louisville that works for the Farmer’s Almanac, said earlier this month on Pure Politics that he wants to bring a marketing focus to the Ag Department.

Both Comer and Farmer had agreed a month ago to appear together on the program, but Farmer’s campaign canceled on Monday — two days before the joint appearance. The Farmer campaign’s statement said the Democratic candidate debated Comer on KET and will debate again at the Kentucky Farm Bureau on Oct. 12. (The full statement is at 0:30 of the video).

Despite Comer’s claims that Farmer isn’t qualified for the job of agriculture commissioner, he said he wouldn’t push for a constitutional amendment to abolish the position if Farmer wins. (1:30 of the video)

Instead, he said lawmakers would be more likely to strip powers from the office and cut back its budget.

“I think they will take that out on him, and continue to whittle that office down ‘til it looks like the treasurer’s office, and it’s just an insignificant office, if he wins. But I’m confident I’m going to win,” Comer said (at the 2:20 mark.)

Comer also answered questions about the dueling ethics complaints between the two campaigns (4:00 – 5:30 of the interview).


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