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Two ag commissioner elections occurring in 2024

Two ag commissioner elections occurring in 2024

Voters in North Carolina and West Virginia will elect their ag reps in the fall

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

The presidential election isn’t the only election happening in the United States in 2024.

Voters in two states will elect agriculture commissioners in the fall.

One such election is occurring in North Carolina, where incumbent Republican Steve Troxler has been in that role since 2005.

Since that time, North Carolina’s ag industry has experienced a 29 percent increase. Ag now contributes about $80 billion annually to the state’s economy, Troxler’s website says.

The primary, scheduled for March 5, will see Colby Hammonds try to win the nomination from Troxler.

Hammonds’s website describes him as a farmer from Lumberton, N.C., with more than 33 years of military service.

His commitments include supporting local farming initiatives, reducing government regulations on ag and advocating for policies designed to safeguard and uphold rights and protections for farmers.

Two other candidates are also on the ballot.

Dr. Sarah Taber, a crop scientist and farm operations specialist with 26 years of experience in ag from Fayetteville, is seeking the Democratic nomination.

She’s running on a three-part plan about what farmers grow, who makes a living in ag and how Noth Carolina ag does business.

And Sean Haugh, a pizza delivery man from Durham, is running under the Libertarian banner.

He’s run three times in U.S. Senate elections, in 2002, 2014 and 2016, coming in third each time.

He also ran unsuccessfully in the 2020 and 2022 elections to represent North Carolina’s 31st district in the House of Representatives.

Haugh’s website isn’t updated with any commitments or promises if elected ag commissioner, but has contacted his team for those details.

The other ag commissioner election in 2024 is happening in West Virginia.

In that state, Republican incumbent Kent Leonhardt, a livestock farmer from Monongalia County, is trying to win his third consecutive term as ag commissioner.

Since becoming ag commissioner in 2016, Leonhardt has helped pass legislation allowing for increase on-farm processing of poultry and rabbits, secured $250,000 for the Veterans and Warriors to Agriculture Program, and supported FFA and 4-H programs, his website says.

The primary for the nomination is scheduled for May 14.

Currently no other Republican nominees are listed. Potential candidates have until Jan. 27 to file their papers.

And as of Jan. 15, no one is representing the Democrats or any other party in the ag commissioner election.

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