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Bill Johnson of Elkton and Hilda Legg of Somerset are competing to become the Grand Old Party's candidate for Secretary of State in the May 24 primary election.
Both candidates replied to a questionnaire from The Lebanon Enterprise. Their complete questionnaires are available online at www.lebanonenterprise.com.
Johnson wrote that he is running because Kentucky needs strong conservative leadership with private sector experience. Legg wrote that she is running because the state needs strong leaders who understand that government's primary purpose is protecting the rights of its citizens.
Johnson, 45, is a University of Kentucky graduate with a degree in engineering. He has completed the Naval Nuclear Power School and he received his MBA from the College of William and Mary.
Johnson served for 10 years in the U.S. Navy as a nuclear propulsion engineer and has worked for 13 years in the private sector in information technology, process improvement and procurement.
He and his wife, Delinda, have a son and a daughter. He attends Elkton Baptist Church.
Johnson wrote that he has found ways to cut waste in large and small businesses, and he wants to use that experience to help Kentucky.
"I want to take my talents to Frankfort and work to get government out of the way of business," he wrote.
Johnson added that he is a "change agent" with a background in problem solving. He continuted to write that his military background has prepared his to serve with integrity, while his private sector work has required creativity and sound judgment.
Johnson would like to push for legislation requiring a picture ID to be presented before someone can vote.
"In addition, I will review the voter registration file and remove ineligible voters from the file," he wrote.
Johnson added that he would visit high school and local festivals to raise awareness about voting, and he wants government to get out of the way of business by working to making government-business interactions more efficient.
"I believe in citizen service and then returning to the private sector," Johnson said. "I don't intend to make a career out of Government service. However, I feel compelled to help change the direction of Kentucky using my God given talents."
Legg, 58, completed her master's degree in education at Western Kentucky University. She has worked as a high-speed internet consultant, an administrator for USDA rural utilities, the executive director of The Center for Rural Development, a member of the Appalachian Regional Commission, an administrator and instructor at Lindsey Wilson College, an assistant director for the US Department of Education and a social science teacher in Adair County Schools.
She has a son, Dane, and she is involved with the Pulaski County Republican Women and First Baptist Church of Someret, among other organizations.
Legg is a native of Kentucky with more than 30 years of experience working in the public and private sectors.
"Making Kentucky a place where the integrity of our elections is the highest priority, where jobs creators are supported and where government processes are streamlined and efficient for its citizens," she wrote about why she is running.
Preserving the integrity of elections involves making sure those who are legally entitled to vote can do so, according to Legg. One way to do this is to require would-be voters to provide proof of citizenship.
She added that she would work to create civic forums in every county and to engage with schools to promote active citizenship.
She added that her career has been focused on creating jobs, and she will always be mindful that the more assistance government can provide to businesses, the more jobs those businesses can create. One way to do this is to improve technology and to work with other offices to streamline government services.
"Our employees will be reminded that small and medium size businesses are the life blood of our economy and they deserve out help and assistance," she wrote.
Legg added that she wants voters to feel that they are part of her office.
"I will be responsive to the taxpayers and will ask on every 'good idea' what will it cost Kentucky' taxpayer?" she wrote.
Republican Trey Grayson was twice elected as Kentucky's Secretary of State. He has since moved on to serve as the director of Harvard University's Institute of Politics. Gov. Steve Beshear appointed Democrat Elaine Walker to fill the remainder of Grayson's term, but two candidates are hoping to reclaim the seat for the Republican Party.