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Ryan Quarles re-elected Kentucky ag commissioner

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – Republican Ryan Quarles has been re-elected as Kentucky commissioner of agriculture. Quarles defeated Democrat Robert Conway, a farmer from Scott County.

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Quarles says he has expanded the Kentucky Proud brand in his first term and touted the growth of the hemp industry in the state. He says about 1,000 Kentucky farmers are growing the crop.

Quarles has said he supports legalizing marijuana for medical purposes, but says it should be up to the General Assembly to make that decision. Conway was a strong supporter of medicinal marijuana for pain relief for cancer patients and others.

Quarles has worked to expand markets available to farmers and said he is the first ag commissioner to have staff who focus on international trade.

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