Democrat Secretary of State candidate Heather French Henry speaks at the 2019 Fancy Farm Picnic. Jeff Faughender, Louisville Courier Journal
The cornerstone of American democracy is the right to vote — and as your next secretary of state, I will be your chief elections officer. This means that it will be my duty to make sure as many Kentuckians are legally participating in our elections as possible. I believe that to do that, we have to change our broken politics.
For too long, political discourse has become uncivil, divisive and counterproductive. I want to go to Frankfort to change that. My career in public service has been effective because I have always put the people I serve over any political party or political interest.
For the last 20 years, I have been an advocate for our military veterans and their families. I was honored to serve as commissioner and deputy commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs. As a testament to my hard work and willingness to work with both parties, I served both Gov. Steve Beshear, a Democrat, and his successor, Gov. Matt Bevin, a Republican.
My experience running a large administrative department such as the KDVA, where there were 900 employees and a $100 million budget, makes me a strong choice to lead the office of secretary of state. As an accomplished administrator, I will be able to be an effective leader who won’t need on-the-job training. Ensuring the integrity of Kentucky’s election system for all requires experience working across party lines and administrative and legislative knowledge. I have that experience.
A key component of my administration will be to begin working hand-in-glove with our county clerks. By working together, we can make voting easier, apply for federal grants to help afford up-to-date election equipment and lobby the legislature to increase the amount of per precinct funding for elections. I will ensure that my office and county clerks are on the same page so that they are not overwhelmed by unfunded mandates from Frankfort.
In addition to voting, the secretary of state’s office provides business services. I want to expand these services, which already reach 250,000 businesses and organizations. As a small business owner, I want to make Kentucky as business friendly as possible.
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Public service has always been a part of my life, and I believe in servant leadership. We can create a better Kentucky by supporting businesses and giving all Kentuckians the chance to participate in the democracy our veterans fought for. I ask for your vote on Nov. 5.
Heather French Henry is the Democratic candidate for Kentucky secretary of state.
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