Politics & Government

State Rep. Bill Farmer of Lexington will not seek re-election

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.

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.