FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) - The chief of staff for Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton filed his papers to run for secretary of state on Monday afternoon, making it a crowded field in both the Republican and Democratic primaries.
Republican Steve Knipper of Independence becomes the seventh candidate for that office - four Republicans and three Democrats - seeking to replace Alison Lundergan Grimes, who cannot seek re-election due to term limits.
When asked about the number of filers for the job, Knipper said, “Like I told everybody: ‘The water’s warm, jump on in.’ It’s actually good for our democracy, because it gives people a choice.”
A Knipper campaign video describes him as the front-runner in the secretary of state’s race. He says that was given to him by the website “Big League Politics.”
“I asked them why they did that and they said that I was the one that had the clear message when they did their surveys,” he said. “My name was the first one that came up as most qualified.”
Knipper said he brings a skill set that’s needed in the Secretary of State’s office. “There are a lot of problems with the databases, voter rolls, and a lot of things that we need to do to clean up those voter rolls. That skill set is IT, especially cybersecurity. We all see how important it is that to be secure with our data.”
Hampton, who was on hand for the filing, says she supports Knipper in the race. “I may be a little biased, but I have a favorite in the race.”
The other three GOP candidates for Secretary of State are Michael Adams, Andrew English and Carl Nett. The three Democrats are Jason Grifith, Heather French Henry and Goeff Sebesta.
Tuesday at 4 p.m. is the filing deadline for the state constitutional offices: Governor/Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, State Auditor, State Treasurer and Agriculture Commissioner.