Farmer and former House Majority Floor Leader Jonathan Shell has officially filed his paperwork with the Secretary of State to run for Agriculture Commissioner next year.
Shell, a Republican, is the first to file for the open seat, that has been held by outgoing Commissioner Ryan Quarles, R-Kentucky, for two terms.
“I am excited to run for this race to protect our way of life,” Shell said in a video posted on Tuesday.
Shell jumped into the race at the end of August after current state Rep. Richard Heath, R-Mayfield, announced his candidacy for the seat. Heath announced he would be seeking the open-seat at a Mayfield community event in early August.
Shell has raised nearly $300,000 for the race, according to a report filed with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance. Heath, who has not yet filed with the Kentucky Secretary of State, has raised $45,000 for the GOP primary race.
The Garrard Co. farmer served as U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell’s 2020 campaign chairman in Kentucky.