Rep. Bill Farmer to withdrawl from re-election bid in in 88th citing health reasons

03/08/2012 10:57 AM

State Rep. Bill Farmer, a Lexington Republican who has been the House GOP’s point man on tax issues, told Pure Politics Thursday he is withdrawing from the 88th House District race.

Farmer has served in the House since 2003 but won’t seek a sixth term because he is struggling to deal with the effects of rheumatoid arthritis.

Another Republican, Robert Benvenuti, has filed for the 88th District. Benvenuti is a Lexington lawyer who once served as inspector general of the Health and Family Services Cabinet under former Gov. Ernie Fletcher.

Farmer said he hasn’t spoken to Benvenuti but left a message for him Thursday morning.

Also filing for the 88th District is Democrat Reginald Thomas, a longtime activist and an associate professor at Kentucky State University.

Farmer is among a small group of lawmakers appointed as non-voting members to the governor’s commission on tax reform, which had its first meeting this week. The group has been charged with recommending ways to revamp the tax code by Thanksgiving.

Farmer said he will continue to serve on that group. A tax preparer, Farmer has pushed for restructuring the tax code in the past. Specifically, he has filed legislation in recent sessions that would eliminate state income taxes and replace that revenue by expanding the sales tax and closing other loopholes.


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