Ag Commissioner Ryan Quarles is running for governor

Quarles joins State Auditor Mike Harmon among the Republicans who have announced they will run in 2023.

Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles announced over the weekend that he will seek the Republican nomination for Kentucky governor in 2023.

“I feel like I have a strong record of executive leadership,” Quarles said during an interview on WKYT in Lexington. 

A former state representative, Quarles is serving his second term as ag commissioner.

Quarles has been one of Frankfort’s most outspoken critics of Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear, who will seek a second term in office. During his announcement, Quarles called Beshear “vulnerable” in 2023. 

Quarles is the second Republican in the race. Previously, State Auditor Mike Harmon announced his intention to run. 

Ag Commissioner Ryan Quarles is running for governor

Jennifer P. Brown | Hoptown Chronicle

Jennifer P. Brown is co-founder, publisher and editor of Hoptown Chronicle. You can reach her at She spent 30 years as a reporter and editor at the Kentucky New Era. She is a co-chair of the national advisory board to the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, governing board president for the Kentucky Historical Society, and co-founder of the Kentucky Open Government Coalition.