Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

Local News

June 18, 2014

Glasgow native to run for Ag commissioner

FRANKFORT — Jean-Marie Lawson Spann announced Wednesday she will run for state Commissioner of Agriculture next year.

The Bowling Green resident and Glasgow native is a Democrat who is Vice President of Marketing for Lawson Marketing and for the past 10 years has hosted a weekly agriculture radio show, The Jean-Marie Ag Show.

She kicked off an announcement tour around the state Wednesday morning in Frankfort where she was introduced by Carol Palmore, a former Secretary of the state Personnel Cabinet; state Rep. Derrick Graham, D-Frankfort; and former Agriculture Commissioner Ed Logsdon, the father of Kentucky Democratic Party Chairman Dan Logsdon.

In a room of around 20 supporters, Lawson previewed a campaign video and reminded supporters what a large role the Department of Agriculture plays in Kentuckians lives. The agency is responsible for inspecting agriculture products, gasoline pumps, and even amusement park rides.

Lawson Spann, 36, said she expects incumbent Commissioner of Agriculture James Comer, a Republican, to run for governor next year rather than seek re-election to his current post. Comer has openly discussed running for governor but has made no formal announcement about his plans. He is eligible for re-election should he choose to run for Agriculture Commissioner again.

Lawson Spann says she’s been preparing for the job of Agriculture Commissioner all of her life. She is the daughter of Sam and Beverly Lawson who have operated a farm equipment business since her childhood.

“I have a great appreciation for our Kentucky Farmers and have developed a background in agriculture, education, politics, business, marketing and the world of exports to put together a personal package that can move Kentucky Agriculture forward,” Lawson Spann says on her website. If elected, she said, she will focus on creating opportunities for Kentucky farmers and agriculture to market and sell products. Her background in agriculture, marketing and politics gives her an advantage in doing that, she said.

Lawson Spann holds a BA Degree in Corporate and Organizational Communications from Western Kentucky University where she was a member of the women’s golf team. She was a two-term state President of Kentucky Young Democrats, served as Secretary of the KDP Central Executive Committee and was a delegate to the 2004 Democratic National Convention.

Lawson Spann recently married Bobby Spann, Vice President for External Affairs for CVG. She acknowledged the length of her name prompted her to call her campaign “Jean-Marie for Kentucky Ag.”

She was scheduled to travel across the state between Wednesday and Saturday, including stops in Morehead, Louisville, Bowling Green, Glasgow, Richmond as well as stops in northern and western Kentucky.

RONNIE ELLIS writes for CNHI News Service and is based in Frankfort. Reach him at rellis@cnhi.com. Follow CNHI News Service stories on Twitter at www.twitter.com/cnhifrankfort

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