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Quarles releases first TV ad in bid for Republican nomination for Kentucky governor

Quarles campaign

Republican Ryan Quarles is out with his first television ad in the race for Kentucky governor.

Quarles serves as state Agriculture Commissioner and is among a dozen candidates seeking the GOP nomination in next month’s primary election. The ad released on Wednesday touts Quarles as a champion for the unborn, law enforcement, and the Second Amendment.

“I grew up on my family farm in rural Kentucky where we have lived and farmed for more than 200 years," Quarles says in the ad. "My beliefs are rooted in a strong faith and they have never wavered.”

The ad didn’t include any attacks on other candidates. In fact, Quarles hasn't done any mud slinging in this primary season against his fellow GOP contenders. However, he has publicly criticized Governor Andy Beshear’s pandemic restrictions.

"Andy Beshear was the shutdown governor," said Quarles earlier this month at the Southern Kentucky Lincoln Day Dinner in Bowling Green.

Quarles, a former member of the state House of Representatives, has also blasted the Beshear administration's handling of unemployment claims and tornado relief checks.

The Quarles campaign and has received more than 235 endorsements from elected Republicans across the state. The last quarterly election finance reports showed Quarles with the most cash on hand of any GOP candidate, with more than $900,000 in the bank.

In the final weeks leading up to the primary election, his campaign says it will launch more TV ads along with digital and radio spots, as well as campaign mailers.

Independent polling released this month showed Quarles improving his standing among likely voters from a previous survey taken in January.

"We feel like we're starting in a good position, that our grassroots supporters are going to pay off and the farmers of Kentucky will get out and support the next governor," Quarles told WKU Public Radio.

Still, Quarles trailed Attorney General Daniel Cameron and former U.S. diplomat Kelly Craft in the latest polling.

The winner of the May 16 Republican primary will likely take on Beshear, who’s facing two little-known challengers in next month’s Democratic primary.

Lisa is a Scottsville native and WKU alum. She has worked in radio as a news reporter and anchor for 18 years. Prior to joining WKU Public Radio, she most recently worked at WHAS in Louisville and WLAC in Nashville. She has received numerous awards from the Associated Press, including Best Reporter in Kentucky. Many of her stories have been heard on NPR.
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