As KGVO News was on the phone with Christi Jacobsen with the Montana Secretary of State’s office asking about the opening of the candidate filing season, it turns out that Jacobsen herself has filed to run for the office currently held by Corey Stapleton.

“We opened our candidate filing at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, with several people waiting at the door to file their paperwork,” said Jacobsen. “In total, we had 100 candidates file on the first day both online and in person. The first in line was Maryann Dunwell who is running for a legislative seat in Helena.”

Jacobsen revealed her own candidacy by accurately stating the fee to file for the office of Secretary of State.

“For Secretary of State, the annual salary is $98,104, so the filing fee for that is one percent which is exactly $981 and four cents, and I know that because I paid it yesterday when I filed for office,” she said. She explained her reasons for seeking the office. “I’ve been working and leading the team here at the Secretary of State’s office for the past three years and I’m the most qualified for the seat. We’ve started a lot of great things and we’ve made a lot of improvements but we have a lot of unfinished business, and I’m fully invested in seeing the projects through.”

Jacobsen said the current election system at her office is over 20 years old, and needs updating.

“We’re planning to launch the new system in 2021,” she said. “The longer a system goes without replacing it increases the vulnerability of the system, and with the security of elections being a top priority for me and for my office, I really would like to see the replacement of that system through.”

Jacobsen, a Republican, made a surprise announcement as the interview was coming to a close.

“Secretary (Corey) Stapleton actually endorsed me as his replacement, so I’m very honored for that endorsement,” she said. Stapleton is the only veteran among the major elected officials in the state, and Jacobsen acknowledged his service.

“I very much respect him for serving our country and being a Naval Academy graduate and understand what’s going on in the world and the military situations that we are in.”

The candidate filing season continues until March 9.