Assistant Secretary of State - Lindsay Hughes Thurston
Assistant Secretary of State Lindsay Hughes Thurston is the office’s chief operating officer. She will represent the Secretary in all official capacities and act on Secretary Grimes’ behalf at her direction or in her absence. Thurston also will manage the office and provide policy analysis for the Secretary.
Previously, Thurston served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of Kentucky, where she prosecuted, among other things, child exploitation offenses under the United States Department of Justice’s initiative Project Safe Childhood. Prior to joining the United States Attorney’s office, Thurston was an Assistant Fayette County Attorney. Thurston obtained her Bachelor of Arts in political science, graduating cum laude, from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri, and her Juris Doctor from the University of Kentucky College of Law.
Director of Communications - Bradford Queen
Bradford Queen is the office's Director of Communications, overseeing external and internal communications and serving as the Secretary's spokesperson. He has previously served as Deputy Director of Communications.
Prior to joining Secretary Grimes' staff, Queen was a producer at WKYT-TV in Lexington, working on the Noon team, helping launch the station's 10 a.m. Midmorning broadcast, as well as assisting in production of Kentucky Newsmakers. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Kentucky. Queen is a native of Mt. Sterling and now resides in Lexington.
Director of Administration and Elections - Mary Sue Helm
Mary Sue Helm is the Secretary of State’s Director of Administration and Elections. In her capacity as Director, Helm will manage fiscal and personnel matters, public documents, legal affairs, and special projects and commissions. She will also oversee the divisions responsible for attesting and keeping a register of the official acts of the Governor as well as all candidate filings and certification of the names of candidates to be printed on ballots.
Helm is a 25-year veteran of State government, and she has spent 23 of those years in the Secretary of State’s office. Helm’s history in the Secretary’s office includes serving as the Director of Administration under Secretary Bremer Ehrler and both the Director of Administration and Director of Corporations during Secretary Bob Babbage’s administration. Helm began her tenure as Director of Elections under Secretary Babbage when the position was created in the mid-1990s, and she continued in that capacity under Secretaries John Y. Brown, III, and Trey Grayson. Helm also previously spent four-and-one-half years as the acting Director of the State Board of Elections. Most recently, Helm served as a Special Elections Assistant to the Secretary of State. Originally from Marion County, Helm resides in Lawrenceburg.
Director of Business - Rob Haynes
Rob Haynes is the Secretary of State's Executive Director of Business. Haynes oversees the business office and is responsible for managing the office’s online business services, issuing and authenticating business records, and maintaining UCC finance statements. Haynes also devotes attention to veterans' affairs and legislative initiatives related to and business and non-profit entities.
Haynes has over a decade of experience in public administration, economic development and community relations at both the state and local levels, including in the administrations of Governors Paul Patton and Steve Beshear and the City of Louisville. He has served as the Local Government Advisor and Federal Grant Administrator for the Kentucky Department for Local Government and, most recently, Communications and Community Engagement Coordinator for the Governor's Office of Early Childhood. Haynes has a Bachelor of Science in Business Communication from Spalding University in Louisville. He lives in Frankfort and is involved in numerous community organizations, including the Kentucky YMCA Youth Association, American Red Cross, Volunteers of America, Habitat for Humanity and community food banks. He is also a member of the Churchill Downs Kentucky Derby Official Committee.
Deputy Director of Communications - Corey Ann Howard Jackson
Corey Ann Howard Jackson, the Deputy Director of Communications, assists in the office's communications work. Prior to joining the Office of the Secretary of State, Jackson worked for more than three years in administrative support and communications capacities for the Kentucky Department of Natural Resources. She also has management, marketing, and customer service experience from her background in the private sector. Jackson obtained her Bachelor of Arts in political science from Georgetown College, graduating magna cum laude and playing on the women's golf team. She earned her Master of Arts in communication from Bellarmine University. Jackson is a native of Frankfort.