Ryan Quarles serving as emcee at the 2018 Fancy Farm (photo by Berry Craig)

Quarles declares for gov; KDP responds

Forward Kentucky
Forward Kentucky

Ag Commissioner Ryan Quarles finally made it official: he is running for governor in 2023.

Long rumored to be planning to run, Quarles confirmed his plans on the Kentucky Newsmakers show on WKYT over the weekend.

Quarles first ran for Ag Commish in 2015, and won reelection in 2019. He plans to make a “formal” announcement in Scott County at the beginning of June.

Quarles is not the only Republican considering running or already running. State Auditor Mike Harmon launched his campaign in 2021. And, both AG Daniel Cameron and state Sen. Max Wise are strongly rumored to be considering getting into the race.

Nine Republicans have already filed with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance to run for governor in the May 2023 primary:

  • Anthony Moore
  • Brian Bush
  • Rev. Clint Jackson
  • Mike Harmon
  • David Cooper
  • Johnny Rice
  • Eric Deters
  • Robbie Smith
  • Ryan Quarles

KDP chair responds to Quarles’s announcement

In response to Quarles saying he is running, Kentucky Democratic Party chair Colmon Elridge released this statement:

“Andy Beshear is the most popular Democratic governor in the country because he is providing effective leadership focused on attracting record economic development to our commonwealth. This includes making Kentucky an electric battery making hub with the announcements of billions of dollars of new investments from Ford and Envision.

“He has also led with a deep sense of compassion – understanding that these have been a trying, difficult few years, and that here in Kentucky, we take care of each other and do right by our neighbors.

“This stands in stark contrast to the self-enrichment and political grandstanding that has defined Quarles’ more than a decade in public office. If Quarles emerges from what looks like it is going to be a messy Republican primary, Kentucky voters will have a clear choice next November.”

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