By Chelene Nightingale
Jobe Publishing, Inc.
Jobe Publishing, Inc. kicked off the Governor Candidate Series so our readers can make informed decisions on who to support during the primary campaign season. Since we believe in fair and equal elections, Jobe Publishing will feature all the gubernatorial candidates who agree to be interviewed for this newspaper section. This week, we are featuring the current Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner, Ryan Quarles.
Jobe Publishing, Inc. (JPI) spoke with Quarles at Barren County’s Lincoln Day Dinner. Quarles told JPI that he termed out of his current public office position after serving 8 years. He called Andy Beshear the “shutdown governor” and said it was time to replace him. “Andy violated our constitutional rights. His radical shutdown affected everyone in the state.”
However, since our interview with Quarles, a Barren County Progress reader provided a screenshot of a Ryan Quarles’ social media post from April 2020: “Governor Beshear has taken some unprecedented moves in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Most reasonable people, like me, agree with many decisions he has made so far.”
Despite some limitations he noted in the 2020 post, this tweet is in contrast to interviews and statements from Quarles in 2021: “I’m calling upon Gov. Beshear to join in this bipartisan effort across the nation for a great reopening. Other states that have opened back up, versus states that have heavy restrictions, you could argue, have more or less the same results.”
JPI also discussed the opioid crisis in Kentucky with Quarles. “We must lock up drug dealers, but we must offer resources for drug users to help them become clean and go back to work.” However, if elected governor, Quarles will support legalizing medical marijuana.
Regarding the issue of education, the governor candidate stated, “We must get back to basics in the classroom.” Quarles’ education background is quite impressive. He graduated high school as class valedictorian and was awarded a full scholarship at Harvard University. He also attended the University of Kentucky College of Law. Former Republican Governor Ernie Fletcher appointed Quarles to two terms as a student member on the Kentucky Council of Post-Secondary Education. Quarles further stated in the interview, “Test scores have plummeted in our state. Students are not all the same. Some need a vocational path. As governor, I will promote vocational learning with classes in various industries like HVAC (heating and air).”
During Quarles’ Lincoln Day Dinner speech, he also noted that when he is governor, boys will not be allowed in the girls’ locker room. “Students should feel safe at their schools.”
Since Quarles served two terms as Kentucky’s Agriculture Commissioner, JPI also chatted with the governor candidate about the state’s farming industry. “Kentucky is ranked 7th in America for poultry production. In fact, chicken and eggs are the number one agriculture and food product in our state and we rank 8th for beef cattle. We must support this important industry.” As Ag Commissioner, Quarles established several new programs including action to combat hunger.
Due to the shortness of time, JPI only had time to ask one more question. “Ryan, the Mason-Dixon poll results showed Daniel Cameron leading by a vast 30 percent. You are currently in a distant third place. Would you consider accepting the Lt. Governor position?” Quarles smiled and replied, “We are a grassroots campaign. We have strong support from farmers. We are focused on winning. I love our country and will work hard as governor.”
Quarles ended his Lincoln Day Dinner Speech by saying, “I kneel before God and pledge allegiance to our flag.”
Quarles’ campaign website states he is pro-life, pro-gun, and pro-family. In addition, he is tough on crime and supports police and first responders. To learn more about Ryan Quarles, or to support his campaign, visit www.ryanquarles.com.