FRANKFORT — Republican Rep. Bill Farmer of Lexington announced Thursday that he is not seeking re-election for House District 88, which includes southeastern Fayette County.
Farmer, a tax accountant, was first elected in 2002. Farmer said he decided to withdraw from the race because of health reasons. He has Rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic condition that causes pain, stiffness and inflammation in his joints.
"I've been dealing with this for eight years," Farmer said. "My wife and I discussed it, and we decided that it was time."
Farmer has been a champion of changing the state's tax structure over the past several years and is a member of Gov. Steve Beshear's commission on tax reform. Farmer said Thursday that he will continue to serve on that commission.
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Farmer's term ends at the end of this year.
Democrat Reginald Thomas and Republican Robert Benvenuti, a lawyer and former inspector general for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, have filed to run in the 88th district.