Richie Farmer

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Robert Farmer
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Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture
Former officeholder
In office
January 2004 - January 2012
PartyRepublican
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 2007
First electedNovember 2003
Term limitsN/A
Personal
BirthdayAugust 25, 1969
Richie Farmer (b. August 25, 1969) was the Republican Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture from January 2004 to January 2012. He was ineligible for re-election after his term expired in 2012, and ran for lieutenant governor in 2011 on the Republican ticket with state Senator David Williams. The pair lost to incumbent Democrat Steve Beshear and his running mate, former Louisville mayor Jerry E. Abramson.
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Biography

Farmer was born in Clay County, Kentucky. He became well known in the state for his role on the Kentucky Wildcats men's basketball team, named "Mr. Basketball" in the state for 1988.

He has worked as an investment advisor and served as Vice-President of the Southern Association, State Departments of Agriculture. Farmer has been involved with the American Cancer Society, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Boys and Girls Club, Children's Miracle Network, and Kicks for Kids.[1]

Education

  • Graduated, University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, 1992
  • BS, Agricultural Economics/Agribusiness Management, University of Kentucky

Political career

Agriculture Commissioner (2004-2012)

Farmer was first elected to the statewide post of Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture in Nov. 2003 and assumed office the following January. After serving two terms in the office, Farmer was barred by term limits from seeking re-election in 2011. He was succeeded by fellow Republican James Comer, Jr. in January of 2012.

Controversies

Ethics convictions

On March 18, 2013, the Kentucky Executive Branch Ethics Commission charged Farmer with 42 counts of ethics violations and a reported $210,000 in potential fines; until Farmer's conviction, the record number of charges dealt to an individual member of the executive branch was 16. Farmer was charged along with seven others, one being his sister, a Kentucky Registry of Election Finance employee, and the remaining six were his colleagues from the agriculture department.[2] The state's investigation into Farmer stemmed from a report issued by Kentucky Auditor Adam Edelen in Spring 2012 that blamed Farmer for engendering a "toxic culture of entitlement" within the department during his two terms as commissioner. Edelen's report, and the subsequent charges by the Ethics Commission, accused Farmer of a number of practices labeled as misuse of office. They include "improperly accepting gifts, including 12 hunting rifles, 35 case knives, wristwatches, cigars, candy and booze bought for a lavish 2008 agriculture commissioners’ convention in Lexington." At the time of his conviction, abounding speculation about an ongoing investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Attorney General's office--led by state AG Jack Conway--into Farmer's alleged misconduct could not be confirmed.[3]

As the official watchdog of the Kentucky state government, Edelen commented on the efforts by the ethics commission to expose the agriculture department's unethical activities under Farmer's leadership, saying, "The message is clear: No one is above the law."

On April 22, 2013, a federal grand jury indicted Farmer for alleged misuse of property and over $450,000 in funds during his time as head of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.[4]

Elections

2011

See also: Kentucky gubernatorial and lieutenant gubernatorial election, 2011 and Kentucky state executive official elections, 2011

Farmer ran for Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky in 2011 on a ticket with David Williams, but the pair lost to incumbent Steve Beshear and his running mate, former Louisville mayor Jerry E. Abramson.

Governor and Lt. Governor of Kentucky, 2011
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngSteve Beshear and Jerry E. Abramson 55.7% 464,245
     Republican David Williams and Richie Farmer 35.3% 294,034
     Independent Gatewood Galbraith and Dea Riley 9% 74,860
Total Votes 833,139


2007

Farmer won re-election in the November 2007 election, defeating Democratic candidate David Lynn Williams.[5]

Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture (2007)
Candidates Votes Percent
Green check mark transparent.png Richie Farmer (R) 644,036 64.0%
David Lynn Williams (D) 362,339 36.0%

2003

Farmer won election as Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture in the November 2003 election, defeating Democratic candidate Alice Woods Baesler.[6]

Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture (2003)
Candidates Votes Percent
Green check mark transparent.png Richie Farmer (R) 578,008 55.2%
Alice Woods Baesler (D) 468,696 44.8%

Campaign donors

2007

In 2007 Farmer collected $521,291 in donations.[7]

Listed below are the top 5 contributors to his campaign.

Donor Amount
Richie Farmer for Commissioner of Agriculture $84,475
Kentucky Republican Party $15,000
Southern Crop Production Association $2,000
Ronald Carmicle $2,000
Vickie Brown $2,000


See also

Elections


External links

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References

Political offices
Preceded by
'
Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture
2004–2012
Succeeded by
James Comer, Jr. (R)