(AP) — Kentucky's Republican Agriculture Commissioner James Comer says he'll run for Congress to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield.
Whitfield announced Tuesday he would not seek re-election after spending 20 years representing Kentucky's 1st Congressional District in Washington. The heavily Republican district consists of 35 counties in western Kentucky that includes Comer's hometown.
Comer lost the Republican nomination for governor by just 83 votes in May. But he won the 35 counties in the 1st District with 55 percent of the vote in the Republican primary.
Other Republicans who've shown interest in the seat include Michael Pape, who was Whitfield's district director, and Hickman County Attorney Jason Batts. A spokesman for the Kentucky Democratic Party said party officials are focused on electing Jack Conway for governor in November.