Heather French Henry wins Democratic nod for Secretary of State

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- Heather French Henry, a former Kentucky veterans affairs commissioner and Miss America, has won the Democratic nomination for Kentucky Secretary of State.

Henry defeated three other Democrats in early vote totals.

Henry released the following statement after her win:

“First, I would like to thank the other candidates for running a spirited campaign. I look forward to working with them on issues that matter to our Commonwealth,” French Henry said. “Thanks to supporters across Kentucky--from all 120 counties--we built a winning coalition that will form the backbone of our efforts to win in November. Over the course of my professional career, I have witnessed the sacrifices our veterans made in defending our rights. The right to vote is the cornerstone of our democracy, and every Kentuckian should know their vote counts,”
Henry went on to say.

“I am running to make sure voting is safe, accessible, and secure, and I am looking forward to partnering with our county clerks to do so. It’s past time we have a serious discussion for nonviolent offenders who have paid their debts to society. In addition, I want to streamline the business filing process to ensure Kentucky is a business-friendly state. I look forward to seeing everyone on the campaign trail between now and November.”

Henry won Miss America in 2000 and has been a longtime advocate for veterans. She defeated three other Democrats for the nomination, teacher and business owner Jason Griffith; former Air Force Capt. Jason Belcher; and comic book artist Geoff Sebesta.

Henry was veterans affairs commissioner under former Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear and served as deputy commissioner under Republican Gov. Matt Bevin until she resigned to run for office.

Four Democrats and four Republicans were seeking to succeed Alison Lundergan Grimes, who can't run again due to term limits.

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