Former Erlanger city councilman first to announce run for Ky. secretary of state in 2015

06/11/2014 09:15 AM

ERLANGER – A former Erlanger city councilman, Steve Knipper, has become the first to announce his candidacy in next spring’s Republican primary for secretary of state.

Knipper, who served one term on Erlanger City Council from 2010 to 2012, is a project manager for Catholic Health Initiatives — known now as Kentucky One — the largest health provider in Kentucky.

“I spoke with a number of elected officials and business leaders in Kentucky before making my decision,” Knipper said in a statement. Knipper said he sought advice and input about running from former Secretary of State Trey Grayson, State Sen. Chris McDaniel and Boone County Clerk Kenny Brown.

Knipper sees significance in being the first candidate from either party to file.

“I think it sets a precedent to let everyone know that, yes, I’m serious but it also gives me a longer time to introduce myself,” said Knipper. “I’m not statewide known.”

As part of his campaign platform, Knipper — who worked 15 years in IT management — is calling for developing an online voter registration program as well as removing roadblocks to attract new businesses to the state.

“What I’m proposing is a registration system that would basically be an online secure system and allow people to register up until the day of the election,” said Knipper. “The way that is possible is there’s databases that could be in the background that will do the verification and checking.”

Knipper is open to exploring the possibility of developing a system which would allow overseas military personnel to transmit their ballots back electronically through email. Currently, state law dictates that only county clerks can send ballots to military personnel electronically.

“There’s a military network that exists that is already privatized for soldiers to communicate back and forth,” said Knipper. “Either we could utilize those resources or we could find our own way very cost effectively to make sure.”

Knipper admits that his lack of name recognition around the state will be one of his biggest challenges along with being in a state which currently has only one Republican constitutional office holder.

Knipper welcomes additional Republican candidates for the office.

“Any Republican who was considering getting into the race, the waters warm, come on in,” said Knipper. “We can have that battle of ideas, battle of who’s best to serve.”


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