STANFORD, Ky. — There is one week until Kentucky’s primary election and the candidates for the GOP gubernatorial nomination are making last-minute stops all across the commonwealth as they attempt to unseat democratic incumbent Andy Beshear.

What You Need To Know

  • Ryan Quarles visited Stanford Tuesday, one week before election night in Kentucky 

  • Quarles is the current agriculture commissioner, the second largest executive branch in the state 

  • Quarles said he's pro-life, pro-second amendment and believes parents should have more involvement in their education 

Farmer and Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles believes his background gives him an advantage as a GOP candidate for governor.

“With a low turnout — we only expect about 18% — we think the candidate with the biggest base is going to win this,” Quarles said.

Quarles made a stop Tuesday in rural Stanford, and greeted around 10 voters at the Lincoln County Courthouse before Kentuckians can begin voting in person, starting Thursday.

“We’ve been to all 120 counties, we’re really proud of that, we’re the only candidate that has done that in the past year,” Quarles said.

Currently, Quarles is polling third behind Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron and former U.N. ambassador Kelly Craft, but Quarles said the only poll results he pays attention to are the ones from May 16.

“People value that I show up. I’ve been there for Kentucky the last eight years as Commissioner of Agriculture so I think there’s a lot of folks out there that support me that the polls don’t reflect,” Quarles said.

Much like Cameron and Craft, Quarles is pro-life, pro-second amendment and wants parents to have more say in their child’s education. However, Quarles said his experience as agriculture commissioner and a former state representative gives him an advantage.

“I have eight years of running the second largest executive branch agency in Kentucky. We’ve done it scandal free, we’ve cut the budget five times, we’re doing more with less,” Quarles said.

Quarles said he supports some sort of legalization of medical marijuana for end-of-life issues and chronic pain.

“My mom passed away 10 years ago from cancer and there’s a lot of Kentuckians that may be self-medicating and so I think that being the agriculture guy in the race and someone that has run the hemp program that I’m the best suited to make sure this is done responsibly and actually make it about medicine,” Quarles said.

Quarles said he has the support of over 200 Republican public servants in Kentucky and that his message to voters is simple.

“The Ryan Quarles that you see today is the Ryan Quarles I’ve always been. I’m authentic Kentucky,” Quarles said.

Quarles also supports energy independence for Kentucky coal power and is pro-police.

Spectrum News 1 will also have reports on Daniel Cameron and Kelly Craft later this week.

In-person, no-excuse absentee voting begins Thursday and runs through Saturday. Election Day is Tuesday, May 16 and polls will be open from 6 a.m. in the morning until 6 p.m. at night.