With a week left in the Republican primary for governor, Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles is on the air with an ad seeking to split the frontrunners.
Quarles released “Mud Slingin’” on Monday, which tacitly calls out some of the other candidates in the race for their negative campaign tactics.
“My Momma used to say watch how a politician runs their campaign, and it’ll tell ya’ a lot about who they are,” he says in the ad.
“Negative ads, not showing up to debates, and not even traveling across the Commonwealth to ask for your vote – that’s not me,” Quarles continues. “I’ve spent the last year traveling across Kentucky, talking about the future and working hard to earn your vote.”
The Quarles campaign has spent much of the last year focused on building local grassroots support while the campaigns of Daniel Cameron and Kelly Craft have sought to nationalize the GOP primary election.
The Quarles campaign strategy, playing the adult in the room while Craft and Cameron exchange negative ads, and then decrying the negative tactics, has worked in the not so distant past.
Matt Bevin ran a similar campaign in 2015, defeating James Comer with less than 100 votes in the GOP primary and going on to become governor. Comer and wealthy Louisville businessman Hal Heiner were frontrunners in that race until things took a negative turn, allowing Bevin to break late in a four-way primary.
The GOP primary for governor includes a dozen candidates. Republicans cast their ballots on May 16 for the primary race.