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Bill Johnson (Kentucky)

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Bill Johnson
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Former candidate for
Kentucky Secretary of State
Military service
Service/branchU.S. Navy
Campaign website
William Ejner Johnson, Jr. was a Republican candidate for Kentucky Secretary of State in the 2011 elections. He launched his candidacy on November 8th, 2010, exactly one year before the general election. He prevailed over conservative activist and former U.S. Agriculture Department administrator Hilda Legg in the May 17th Republican primary contest, but fell to Alison Lundergan Grimes in the general election held on November 8th, 2011.


Johnson is a western Kentucky businessman and a ten year veteran of the United States Navy.[1][2] He has had a variety of experience as a corporate executive; he was a member of British Petroleum's international leadership team and a corporate auditor/global information security manager for General Electric. He also owned and operated a business repairing and maintaining aircraft airframes and power plants. Before entering the business world, Johnson served as a nuclear propulsion engineer for the U.S. Navy from 1988 to 1998. Johnson and his wife, Delinda, have two children.


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Secretary of State 2011 elections

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See also: Kentucky secretary of state election, 2011

Johnson ran for Kentucky Secretary of State in the 2011 election. He claimed the Republican nomination after a close race against former U.S. Department of Agriculture official Hilda Legg but fell to Lexington attorney and Democratic candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes in the general election.

Kentucky Secretary of State, 2011
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngAlison Lundergan Grimes 60.6% 494,368
     Republican Bill Johnson 39.4% 321,065
Total Votes 815,433

Kentucky Secretary of State - Republican Primary
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Republican Party ApprovedaBill Johnson 50.42%
     Republican Party Hilda Legg 49.58%
Total Votes 131,714
NOTE: Hilda Legg requested a recanvass of the vote in the Republican primary, which was conducted on May 26. It did not change the result.[3]


Johnson's campaign website outlined three issue positions: "civic education," "honest elections," and "business advocacy." Specifically, he promised to "work to expand civic education programs," to push a bill that would require photo identification to vote, and to continue efforts to automate business interactions with state government.[4] On broader policy issues, Johnson:

  • Opposed early voting and open primaries and is against restoring voting rights to convicted felons except when the governor grants an executive pardon.[5]
    • In June 2011, Johnson's campaign published a newsletter in which he suggested he was against same day voter registration[5]. However, in a questionnaire released by KentuckyElection.org on April 22, 2011, he claimed he would work to "enable same day registration" by putting eligibility check technology in place.[6]
  • Opposed to abortion and supported state and federal "personhood" legislation[5]
  • Supported gun rights[5]
  • Opposeed "cap and trade" legislation to control carbon emissions and supports mountaintop coal mining that drew criticism from environmentalists.[5] Johnson also called for abolition of the federal Environmental Protection Agency during his 2010 campaign for U.S. Senate because it "[stands] between Kentucky and our natural resources."[7]
  • Claimed he would "automate government process, eliminate waste, and reduce costs."[8]


In 2010, Johnson made an unsuccessful run for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senator from Kentucky, garnering only 2.2 percent of the vote. Ultimately, ophthalmologist Rand Paul would claim the seat.

U.S. Senator from Kentucky - Republican Primary[9]
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Republican Party Approveda Rand Paul 58.8%
     Republican Party C.M. "Trey" Grayson 35.5%
     Republican Party Bill Johnson 2.2%
     Republican Party John Stephenson 2.0%
     Republican Party Gurley L. Martin 0.8%
     Republican Party Jon J. Scribner 0.8%
Total Votes 352,275

Campaign contributions


Kentucky Secretary of State

In July 13, 2011, the breakdown of Johnson's campaign finances during the primary season were as follows:

Kentucky Secretary of State -- Republican Primary[10]
Report Date Filed Beginning Balance Contributions Expenditures Cash on Hand
Total --- --- $25,691.09 $23,861.85 ---
60-Day Post-Primary 7/16/2011 $1,860.74 $0.00 $0.00 $1,860.74
30-Day Post-Primary 6/16/2011 $1,771.65 $1,650.00 $1,560.91 $1,860.74
15-Day Pre-Primary 5/2/2011 $3,539.35 $925.00 $2,574.20 $1,890.15
32-Day Pre-Primary 4/15/2011[11] $4,714.06 $13,146.09 $14,470.80 $3,389.35
Quarterly 12/31/2010[12] $0.00 $9,970.00 $5,255.94 $4,714.06


U.S. Senator from Kentucky

According to OpenSecrets.org, Johnson raised $78,046 in 2010 for his senatorial campaign.[13]

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