Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles announced Saturday night that he will enter the 2023 governor's race, joining what's shaping up to be a crowded Republican contest to select a nominee to challenge Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear.
Quarles told a GOP gathering in Lexington that he will seek the state's top elected position.
Quarles, in his second term as agriculture commissioner, has long been seen as a strong contender, having built up his name recognition across rural Kentucky. His entry into the race could signal a flurry of potential announcements in the coming weeks and months.
State Auditor Mike Harmon announced last year that he will seek the GOP nomination for governor.
Several other Republicans are thought to be weighing gubernatorial bids, including Attorney General Daniel Cameron, former United Nations Ambassador Kelly Craft, state Sens. Ralph Alvarado and Max Wise, state Rep. Savannah Maddox and Somerset Mayor Alan Keck.
Bruce Schreiner, The Associated Press