Harmon First to File for 2023 Gubernatorial Race

With little fanfare state Auditor Mike Harmon, R-Kentucky, on Monday filed a letter of intent to run for governor in 2023.

Harmon, 54, from Harrodsburg, Kentucky, will seek the GOP nomination for governor in what is expected to be a large Republican field to challenge incumbent Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear.

“Over the last year and a half, sadly Kentuckians have had their liberties and their livelihoods suspended and stolen while promises to make those losses whole have gone for the most part unfulfilled,” Harmon said in a statement.  

“I learned a long time ago to make few promises because someone’s word should be their bond, and that bond, if at all possible, should be honored and unbroken,” he continued. “But I will make this promise that if I am elected, I will do my best to take time to listen to the people of Kentucky and to serve each and every one to the best of my abilities regardless of their political affiliation.”

Harmon has served two-terms as Auditor of Public Accounts, and is term-limited in 2023. He first came to the statewide office defeating former Auditor Adam Edelen, D-Kentucky, during the 2015 race. Harmon previously served as a state Representative in the Kentucky General Assembly from 2002 to 2015.

In 2011, Harmon joined a ticket with Phil Moffett as a candidate for Lt. Governor in the Republican Primary. Moffett and Harmon were defeated in the race by then Senate President David Williams and his running mate Richie Farmer who went on to be defeated in the General Election by Gov. Steve Beshear, D-Kentucky.

The Republican Auditor is the first to enter the GOP primary, but several others are also considering a run including Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles, former United Nations Ambassador Kelly Craft, Somerset Mayor Alan Keck, and former Gov. Matt Bevin.