Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles announces run for Governor

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles is running for governor in the 2023 election.
Published: Apr. 30, 2022 at 9:41 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles is running for governor in the 2023 election.

He will be running on the Republican ticket. He first made the announcement on Kentucky Newsmakers with Bill Bryant.

“I’d like to announce that I will be running for governor in the Commonwealth of Kentucky in 2023 because the voters deserve a choice on Election Day, and they deserve a governor that’s going to bring us all together and unite Kentucky,” Quarles said.

Quarles has been the state’s agriculture commissioner for two terms. Before that, he represented Fayette, Scott and Owen Counties in the Kentucky General Assembly.

“I feel like I have a strong track record of executive leadership and I also feel a calling right now, that, if I could, provide Kentucky, if the voters would like, more public service and leadership in our state,” he said.

In the interview with Bill Bryant, Quarles praised Republican lawmakers for their work in the legislative session.

“I thought it was a great session, that we had pro-life legislation passed, that we’re able to protect our gun rights, as well as a bill to save women’s sports,” he said.

He criticized Governor Andy Beshear’s vetoes.

“I think Andy Beshear is vulnerable for reelection and I think it’s all about making sure that we mobilize the voters and give them a choice on Election Day,” Quarles said.

He has publicly opposed the governor’s decisions before. He criticized Beshear’s COVID-19 restrictions and called on him to fully reopen the state in 2021.

He and the owners of Evans Orchard filed a lawsuit against the governor.

Before the general election, he’ll need to secure the republican nomination.

State Auditor Mike Harmon is the only other person who has announced his candidacy for the state’s top job. He too is running on the Republican ticket.

“As the Republican Party grows, we have to get more used to having primaries...I’m going to have a lot of friends in this, I don’t look at it as me running against somebody else, we’re all just applying for the same job,” Quarles said.

Several other republicans are expected to enter the race in the coming weeks. A long list of others indicate they may run which includes State Senators Max Wise and Ralph Alvarado, former UN Ambassador Kelly Craft, Attorney General Daniel Cameron, Somerset Mayor Alan Keck, State Representative Savannah Maddox and former Governor Matt Bevin, who hasn’t ruled out another run.

Governor Andy Beshear said he is running for re-election.

You can listen to Bill Bryant’s full interview with Commissioner Quarles on Kentucky Newsmakers.

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