ELECTION 2015 – Republican bus tour stops in Shelby

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Quarles, Ball share their message just days before election

By Ashley Sutter

With just days left on the calendar before Election Day, political candidates are hot on the campaign trail, hoping to get their names in as many households as possible.

“Last week we traveled two-thousand miles,” said State Rep. Ryan Quarles (R-Georgetown) a candidate for Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner. 

On Thursday, Andriot’s Paint Flooring and Blinds joined Quarles’ list of campaign stops as he and Allison Ball, the Republican nominee for Kentucky Treasurer, for a quick meet and greet with the community.

Several residents and politicians stopped by, including State Sen. Paul Hornback (R-Shelbyville), County Judge-Executive Rob Rothenburger and State Rep. Brad Montell (R-Shelbyville).

“We’re just a few days out,” Quarles said. “We’re running on adrenaline and caffeine at this point. I’m having fun, and I believe we have some wind in our sales.”

Quarles said his team is feeling optimistic in the final stretch of the election.

“I feel positive. Our campaign is focused on the issues. We’ve been campaigning since December, and I believe we are building consensus among the farming community,” he said.

Quarles said he has the experience, knowledge and backing that is essential to the job.

“We need a commissioner who has a farming background,” he said. “I’m fortunate to have the support of Senator Paul Hornback as a campaign co-chair in this race. He’s a farmer [and] legislator,” he said.

Quarles said, like many Kentucky farm kids, he grew up participating in organizations like 4-H and FFA.

But he’s also expanded on those experiences, obtaining a Master of Science in Agricultural Economics from the University of Kentucky and a Master of Arts in Diplomacy and International Relations from UK’s Patterson School of Diplomacy, among other educational accolades, all while working on the farm in the summers to pay for his education.

He did spend one summer, however, working for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Foreign Agriculture Service.

“There I learned about international trade and Kentucky’s place in the global economy and how Kentucky farmers can benefit from overseas opportunities.”

Quarles has served on the state senate since 2011 and in that time he has served on the Agricultural Committee and the Tobacco Settlement Oversight Committee.

Quarles said his campaign is focused on four points.

“We’re focused on continuing the success of the Kentucky Proud Program,” he said.  “We’re also going to focus on agricultural education.”

Quarles said they feel it is important to educate students at a young age, to get out in front of issues and concerns before misperceptions are made by groups against agricultural farming.

Quarles said they are also focusing on international trade.

“It’s important that Kentucky farmers benefit from trade deals,” he said, noting that his educational background in the field has helped him grasp the value of international trade.

He said they are also looking to combat federal government overreach.

“The EPA has proposed water regulations...that are adverse or harmful to Kentucky farmers. So it’s important that we push back against those. The farm community is adamantly against these. What I propose is trying to build consensus.  I’m not anti-regulation, but we need to have common sense with our regulators,” he said.

Quarles said he believes many regulators have not spent enough time on farms to comprehend the magnitude of their regulations.

“I can show them firsthand the effects and the unintended consequences of proposed regulations and the economic impact of those,” he said.


Allison Ball

Ball said with days left in the campaign, she too, has an upbeat attitude about Election Day.

“I’m feeling very good...I’ve got a lot of positive responses and I’m up in all the polls.

[I’ve got a] lot of momentum coming into this final week.”

Ball said she feels she has a necessary edge on her opponents.

“I’m the only one running with a financial background, and I think that’s important for the office of treasurer,” she said.

Ball is a bankruptcy attorney in Eastern Kentucky.

“Getting people out of debt and the consequences of debt, getting people on sound financial footing, and that kind of background is very helpful to be that watchdog on our spending.”

She said she also served as a prosecutor for four years, where she said she developed a backbone.

“You need that too to be our watchdog on our spending,” she said.

Ball said she has a desire to serve as Kentucky’s State Treasurer in order to get the state’s finances in order and in turn, help more people.

“I get a lot of fulfillment helping people one on one but...if we want to help more people, we need to get the right people in Frankfort, we need to get our state in good financial footing, we need to do things to help the economy,” she said.

Ball said there are several issues she would like to target.

“I do think there is a lot of room for advocacy and even some policy influence on the KTRS (Kentucky Teachers Retirement System) Board, the Lottery Board.  I would like to use the position as an advocate for improving our pension systems, tax reform, things that affect our economy, things that affect our financial state,” she said.

Quarles said he is concerned about a low voter turnout and urges the community to get to the polls and have their voices heard Tuesday.

“It’s important that we encourage people to get out and vote,” he said.