Congressman Barr endorses Quarles in GOP primary for Commissioner of Agriculture

03/23/2015 03:25 PM

With less than two months to go before the May 19 primary U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, R-Lexington, is tossing his support behind state Rep. Ryan Quarles who is vying for the GOP nomination for state agriculture commissioner.

Quarles, R-Georgetown, faces fellow Republican Rep. Richard Heath, R-Mayfield, who filed in the final days of the filing deadline to run for agriculture commissioner, setting up the primary.

In his endorsement Barr said Quarles has “farming in his blood.”

“Ryan’s background in agricultural economics and international trade have prepared him well to serve as our next Commissioner of Agriculture, but what really sets him apart is his hands-on experience working on his family’s farm,” Barr said in a statement.

In his endorsement Barr went on to say that Quarles “not only talks the talk but walks the walk.”

“I think that is an important qualification in someone seeking to run Kentucky’s Department of Agriculture.”

Quarles campaign said he is proud to have the endorsement of Congressman Barr.

“Rep. Barr has been an outstanding advocate for the farm communities in the Sixth District and I am very thankful for the faith he has put in me,” Quarles said. “I look forward to working with him and the rest of our federal delegation as our next Commissioner to protect Kentucky farmers’ access to foreign markets and to push back against harmful EPA overreach.”

The position of agriculture commissioner is open as current Commission James Comer is vying for the open governor’s mansion.

Democrat Jean-Marie Lawson Spann is the lone Democratic candidate to file for agriculture commissioner.

Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics available exclusively on Spectrum News. Pure Politics is the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like his coverage of the backlog of DNA rape kits waiting to be tested in Kentucky. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Pure Politics airs weeknight at 7 and 11:30 on Spectrum News. Follow Nick on Twitter @NStorm_Politics. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or


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