Ryan Quarles officially launches campaign for governor
GEORGETOWN, Ky. (WKYT) - The field for those seeking the governor’s mansion next year is getting larger. There’s already eight who have filed to run in the Republican primary.
Ryan Quarles is among them, who made his candidacy official with a kickoff in Georgetown.
Quarles is the third constitutional officer to jump into the race for governor. He said it’s time again for a governor from rural Kentucky.
“Only in America can a farm kid who grew up in a tobacco patch aspire to run for governor one day,” Quarles said.
Quarles has been critical of Governor Andy Beshear, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“He even shut down Main Street businesses, our moms and pops while keeping big businesses open, essentially picking winners and losers,” Quarles said.
Quarles has a hefty resume, include two masters, a doctorate, serving in the legislature and is in his second term as agriculture commissioner. He credits his parents raising him on the farm for his hard work ethic and now wants to take that to the governor’s office.
“I think that working with others is an essential part of leadership. As commissioner of agriculture, I’ve built consensus with 80 some ag groups. Whether a pandemic or natural disaster, it’s about working with people from both parties,” Quarles said.
Eleven candidates have filed for Kentucky governor in 2023, including eight in the Republican Party. They include two others who are constitutional officers.
There are expected to be other high-profile names to file as well, with still six months to go before the filing deadline.
“Savanah Maddox, a representative that has been very notable for her quite conservative approach to legislating, is likely kicking off her gubernatorial campaign June 6. It’s going to be a crowded field to see who takes on Governor Andy Beshear,” Lexington Herald-Leader reporter Austin Horn said.
The Kentucky Democratic Party defends Beshear, saying after the Quarles announcement that he’s created 33,000 jobs and has been a leader in economic development.
“Andy Beshear, much to the chagrin of Republicans, remains a pretty popular governor in Kentucky, based on the polling that we have,” Horn said.
Political pundits predict the Republican primary could include 10 to 12 candidates with a shot at the nomination.
There’s still 11 months before the primary, which will take place May 16 of 2023.
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