|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Kentucky's 1st district
|Assumed office |
November 8, 2016
|Preceded by||Ed Whitfield|
|Agriculture Commissioner of Kentucky|
January 2, 2012 – January 4, 2016
|Preceded by||Richie Farmer|
|Succeeded by||Ryan Quarles|
|Member of the Kentucky House of Representatives|
from the 53rd district
January 2001 – January 2, 2012
|Preceded by||Billy Polston|
|Succeeded by||Bart Rowland|
James Richardson Comer Jr.
August 19, 1972
Carthage, Tennessee, U.S.
Tamara Jo Comer (m. 2003)
|Education||Western Kentucky University (BS)|
James Richardson Comer Jr. // (born August 19, 1972) is an American politician from the Commonwealth of Kentucky who currently represents the state's 1st congressional district in the United States House of Representatives. He previously served as the Agriculture Commissioner of Kentucky from 2012 to 2016 and in the Kentucky House of Representatives from 2000 to 2012.
Comer sought the Republican nomination for Governor of Kentucky in the 2015 election. After losing, he successfully sought the Republican nomination for Kentucky's 1st congressional district to succeed fellow Republican Ed Whitfield. On November 8, 2016, Comer won both a full term to the seat for the next Congress and also a special election which allowed him to serve the remainder of Whitfield's term.
- 1 Early life and education
- 2 Kentucky House of Representatives
- 3 Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture
- 4 2015 gubernatorial election
- 5 United States House of Representatives
- 6 Political positions
- 7 Personal life
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Early life and education
Comer is a native of Carthage, Tennessee. He received a bachelor's degree in agriculture from Western Kentucky University in 1993. In college, he served as President of the Kentucky Future Farmers of America. After college, he started James Comer, Jr. Farms, a 2,300 acres (950 ha) farm with his family, and he is also co-owner of Comer Land & Cattle Co. He also served as a director of the South Central Bank for twelve years. He served as President of the Monroe County Chamber of Commerce from 1999 to 2000.
Kentucky House of Representatives
Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture
In 2011, Comer ran for the position of Agriculture Commissioner; the incumbent, Richie Farmer, was term limited. In the election, Comer was the only Republican to win election to a statewide executive office, and worked with a team of Democratic officials and under a Democratic Governor. Comer had the highest percentage of the vote of any candidate on the ballot. He raised $606,766 while his opponent raised $204,287. He took office on January 2012 and one of his first actions in office was teaming up with Democratic Auditor Adam Edelen to investigate his Republican predecessor's ethical issues while in office.
That year Comer became the chairman of the Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission, and shortly after taking office, Comer labeled the legalization of industrialized hemp as his top priority, and was "instrumental in getting the hemp industry up and running," including the founding of several pilot programs in an effort to restart the industrial hemp industry of Kentucky. His efforts also included filing suit against the DEA, which resulted in the DEA allowing hemp seeds to be delivered to farmers in Kentucky for the first new crops. Between 2014 and 2015 the hemp crops of Kentucky grew from 33 to 1700 acres. Comer also advocated for national hemp deregulation in Washington DC.
2015 gubernatorial election
On August 2, 2014, during the annual Fancy Farm picnic, Comer announced he would seek the Republican nomination for Governor of Kentucky in the 2015 election. His running mate was State Senator Christian McDaniel. Comer was 83 votes behind businessman Matt Bevin in the May 19, 2015 primary election. The Associated Press, referring to the race a "virtual tie", did not call the race in favor of either candidate. In addition, Comer had refused to concede and stated that he would ask for a recanvass. The request for recanvass was filed with the Kentucky Secretary of State's office on May 20, 2015 with Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes ordering the recanvass to occur at 9:00 a.m. local time on Thursday, May 28, 2015. Upon completion of the recanvass, Grimes announced that Bevin remained 83 votes ahead of Comer. Grimes also stated that should Comer want a full recount, it would require a court order from the Franklin Circuit Court. On May 29, Comer announced he would not request a recount and conceded the nomination to Bevin.
United States House of Representatives
In 2016 Comer entered the Republican primary election for the first congressional district of Kentucky against two other competitors. Prior to the primary, he was endorsed by both the National Rifle Association and the US Chamber of Commerce. In the end he won the primary with 60.6% of the vote. Comer was elected to the United States House of Representatives in Kentucky's District 1 with 72.6% of the vote, defeating his Democratic opponent Samuel L. Gaskins. Voters voted separately both for who would fill the unexpired term of predecessor Ed Whitfield from the date of the election forward, as well as who would fill the seat for the upcoming 2017-19 term, and Comer won both elections.
During the first few months of his tenure, Comer held several town hall meetings, where he discussed the Congress's early platform. He also partnered with Murray State University to form the Congressman James Comer Congressional Agriculture Fellowship program, and has advocated for the reform of agricultural legislation. He has also criticized the regulatory policies of Barack Obama, and supported the early domestic policies and actions of Donald Trump. Comer is a social conservative on "same-sex marriage and abortion". In terms of foreign policy, Comer believes that the trade embargo on Cuba should be lifted.
In December 2017, Comer voted in favor of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. After the bill's passing, Comer stated: "I am proud to support this critical part of President Trump's pro-growth agenda that will fulfill this promise to the American people who have struggled under the weight of Washington bureaucrats for far too long."
In 2016, Comer called the Obama administration's final budget a "disaster in the making." He believes that federal spending must become "under control" to not create "mountains of debt." In 2017, he voted for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act which is anticipated to add an estimated $1.49 trillion to the national debt.
Comer is married to Tamara Jo "TJ" Comer and has three children, one boy and two girls. He is a Member of First Baptist Church of Tompkinsville, but has attended Forks of the Elkhorn Baptist Church since his election to the office of Agriculture Commissioner.
On May 5, 2015, he was accused of physical and mental abuse by Marilyn Thomas, a woman he dated while attending Western Kentucky University in 1993. According to Atlantic Magazine, Comer has stated that he believes the accusation was a political stunt in order to hinder his gubernatorial campaign.
- "James Comer, Jr.'s Biography". Votesmart.org. Retrieved May 2, 2015.
- "Biographical Directory of the United States Congress".
- Barton, Ryland. "James Comer's Quest To 'Pass A Bold Agenda' Gets Bumpy".
- "KY Commissioner of Agriculture James Comer to Keynote Farm Family Night at MCTC". maysville.kctcs.edu.
- "Comer combines experience in bid". www.paducahsun.com.
- "Comer commemorates May beef month in Kentucky". May 10, 2013.
- "Comer confident despite campaign 'turbulence'".
- "Comer and Bob Farmer will face off for agriculture commissioner".
- "2011 – The Year In Review".
- "Ag Commissioner James Comer ending first year in office as it began – full steam ahead - KyForward.com". www.kyforward.com.
- Kentucky Registry of Election Finance
- "Bluegrass Beacon: Edelen takes the farm for government transparency". May 4, 2012.
- "America's hemp epicenter: Kentucky ag commissioner excites enthusiasts". October 14, 2015.
- "Lexington, KY local and state news by the Lexington Herald-Leader". Kentucky.com. Retrieved May 2, 2015.
- Bastian, Jonathan (February 6, 2014). "Up Front TV: Kentucky Ag Commissioner James Comer on Hemp, GOP's Future, Felon Voting Rights - 89.3 WFPL". Wfpl.org. Retrieved May 2, 2015.
- Markgraf, Matt. "Congressman James Comer Talks President Trump, Trade Deals, Regulations, Hemp".
- "Comer, growers, industry leaders announce array of hemp projects".
- "Kentucky CBD: Back to the Future with Industrial Hemp". May 12, 2015.
- "Kentucky's 2015 Hemp Crop to Exceed 1,700 Acres; Up from 33 Acres in 2014". May 8, 2015.
- Colston, Kenny (April 23, 2013). "Ag Commissioner James Comer Heading to Washington to Talk Hemp - 89.3 WFPL News Louisville".
- [email protected], CHARLES A. MASON. "Gubernatorial hopeful Comer speaks about farm program".
- "Comer launches new mobile science units to teach Kentucky kids about agriculture".
- "Ag. Commissioner James Comer announces run for governor in 2015". wdrb.com. August 2, 2014. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
- "James Comer Introduces Running Mate Chris McDaniel In Kentucky Gubernatorial Campaign Kick-Off". wkms.org. September 9, 2014. Retrieved September 10, 2014.
- "Officials say Bevin, Comer race too close to call". Wkyt.com. Retrieved November 20, 2016.
- "Secretary Grimes Receives Recanvass Request from James Comer and Chris McDaniel". Kentucky.gov. Retrieved November 20, 2016.
- Hagen, Lisa. "After Near-Miss in Kentucky Governor's Race, James Comer Tries a Congressional Comeback".
- "Review shows Bevin holding 83-vote lead in Kentucky GOP primary". Wkyt.com. Retrieved November 20, 2016.
- "Comer concedes, Bevin to face Conway in race for governor". Wkyt.com. Retrieved November 20, 2016.
- Null, John. "[AUDIO] James Comer Talks Bid for 1st District Congressional Seat Ahead of May 17 Primary".
- "James Comer Elected to Fill Open Seat in Kentucky's 1st District". Roll Call. November 9, 2016.
- Director, Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News. "Comer Town Hall Set in Heart of Farmland USA". surfky.com.
- "Congressman James Comer and Murray State University Hutson School of Agriculture partner for agriculture fellowship – The Blue & Gold". msublueandgold.org.
- Markgraf, Matt. "Congressman Comer Talks Farm Bill, Ag Industry, Healthcare in Hopkinsville".
- Markgraf, Matt. ""That Was Not an Act of War" Comer Talks Syrian Strike and More with Murray Business Leaders".
- Markgraf, Matt. "Rep. Comer: Kentucky Ag Industry Would Benefit from Lifting Embargo on Cuba".
- Almukhtar, Sarah (December 19, 2017). "How Each House Member Voted on the Tax Bill". The New York Times. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
- "Congressman Comer votes for final version of Tax Cuts and Jobs Act | The Ohio County Monitor". Ohio County Monitor. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
- "The Voter's Self Defense System". Vote Smart. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
- Bryan, Bob. "The giant Senate tax bill barely squeaked by a critical test". Business Insider. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
- Harvey, Laura. "Comer meets with residents". The Messenger. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
- Final Vote Results for Roll Call 217
- "House Debate on the Equality Act". C-SPAN. May 17, 2019.
- "Comer Tweets about events and services at "Forks of the Elkhorn [Southern] Baptist Church" with relative Frequency". Twitter.com. Retrieved May 2, 2015.
- Gerth, Joseph (May 5, 2015). "College girlfriend says James Comer abused her". The Courier-Journal. Retrieved November 16, 2016.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to James Comer.|
- Congressman James Comer official US House site
- Campaign site
- James Comer (politician) at Curlie
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Profile at Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Legislation sponsored at the Library of Congress
|Preceded by |
| Agriculture Commissioner of Kentucky |
|U.S. House of Representatives|
|Preceded by |
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives |
from Kentucky's 1st congressional district
|U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)|
|Preceded by |
| United States Representatives by seniority |
|114th||Senate: M. McConnell | R. Paul||House: H. Rogers | E. Whitfield (until Sep. 2016) | J. Yarmuth | B. Guthrie | T. Massie | A. Barr | J. Comer (from Nov. 2016)|
|115th||Senate: M. McConnell • R. Paul||House: H. Rogers • J. Yarmuth • B. Guthrie • T. Massie • A. Barr • J. Comer|