Politics & Government

Republican state Rep. Ryan Quarles 'strongly considering' run for agriculture commissioner


FRANKFORT — Republican state Rep. Ryan Quarles of Georgetown said Tuesday he is "strongly considering" running next year for state agriculture commissioner.

"I plan to talk to family and friends about this over Thanksgiving and have a comment about it Dec. 1," said Quarles, who easily won re-election to the state House on Nov. 4.

Quarles' comments came after Republican state Sen. Paul Hornback of Shelbyville said Tuesday he will not run for the office but instead plans to support Quarles.

Hornback, a farmer who has been in the Senate since 2011, said the timing was not right for him and his family.

Quarles, who has represented the 62nd House District in Owen County and parts of Scott and Fayette counties since 2011, said he appreciated Hornback's comments.

Quarles, 31, is a farmer and lawyer. He has been a target of Democrats since he defeated Charles Hoffman in 2010.

Quarles was re-elected Nov. 4, beating Democrat Chuck Tackett, a magistrate on the Scott County Fiscal Court. Quarles got almost 59 percent of the vote.

He noted in the campaign that he is one of a few legislators to pass bills in his first two terms in office. One clarified voter instructions and another dealt with youth referees.

Farm radio show host Jean-Marie Lawson Spann is the only person so far to file to run for agriculture commissioner in 2015. She made her Democratic bid official last Wednesday.

Lawson Spann had announced in June that she would be seeking the office now held by Republican James Comer of Tompkinsville. Comer is running for governor next year.