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Republicans Set to Nominate Comer for Special Election

J. Tyler Franklin/WFPL News

Republicans are ready to nominate their candidate for a special election to replace Congressman Ed Whitfield. The GOP meets Tuesday night at the Simpson County Courthouse, where they’re expected to nominate James Comer.

The former Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner is already on the November ballot, as he seeks a full two-year term in the U.S. House. Whitfield announced last week he was resigning, about a year after he said he wouldn’t seek re-election to another term.

Comer said he’s confident whoever wins the full two-year term will join a House still in Republican control: "I believe that I can say with confidence that the Republicans will be in the majority--probably eight to ten seats less than what we have now, but still a solid majority."

He says the winner of the special election will have a head start on other first-year members of Congress. "To be able to get seniority over what is projected to be a large incoming freshman class to begin the 2017 session of Congress is a big deal. We all know seniority means a lot in Washington, D.C." Comer said.

Comer is facing Democratic nominee Sam Gaskins, who is also likely to be his party’s choice for the special election.

Kentucky’s First District U.S. House seat includes Paducah, Murray, Franklin, and Campbellsville.

This story has been updated.

Kevin is the News Director at WKU Public Radio. He has been with the station since 1999, and was previously the Assistant News Director, and also served as local host of Morning Edition. He is a broadcast journalism graduate of WKU, and has won numerous awards for his reporting and feature production. Kevin grew up in Radcliff, Kentucky and currently lives in Glasgow.
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