- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 19, 2015

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - State Rep. Ryan Quarles has claimed the Republican nomination for Kentucky agriculture commissioner.

The Georgetown lawmaker defeated fellow state Rep. Richard Heath of Mayfield in Tuesday’s primary, which pitted candidates with rural pedigrees.

Quarles will look to keep the job in GOP hands. Quarles advances to a general election matchup against Democrat Jean-Marie Lawson Spann, who was unopposed in the primary.

The agriculture commissioner runs the Department of Agriculture. It promotes Kentucky farms and oversees a number of regulatory functions, ranging from the sale of eggs to animal health to making sure gasoline pumps and grocery store scales are accurately calibrated.

Quarles grew up on a farm in Scott County in central Kentucky and studied agricultural economics in college on his way to becoming a lawyer.

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