Auditor Harmon wins re-election bid

mike Harmon

Republican incumbent Mike Harmon was re-elected to the office of Kentucky State Auditor on Tuesday.

Harmon won over Democrat candidate Sheri Donahue and Libertarian candidate Kyle Hugenberg.

Auditor Harmon feels like, while his office has been busy, it has built good momentum over the past few years.

"We've had praise -- bipartisan praise -- and so we think we've done a great job, and we want to be able to continue that great work," he said in a pre-election interview.

"Even though this is elected as a partisan position, the moment I walk through that door I take that partisan hat off, put on my independent, nonpartisan hat, and execute the duties of the office as a nonpartisan."

Before serving as auditor, Harmon was the 54th District Representative for Boyle and Casey counties in Frankfort for 13 years.

He is a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University, graduating under triple majors of mathematics, statistics and theater.

In his time as auditor, his office has done around 600 audits and special examinations, including one of the Administrative Office of the Courts, where among the findings was the discovery of a lack of documentation in the rental of one of the justice's offices.

He was also involved in the audit of the Kentucky Law Enforcement Foundation Program Fund, which led to an increase in the educational stipend for police officers, "to make sure the money goes where its supposed to to help our police and fire," he said.

His legislative background also led to the passage of a bill that allowed sheriff's offices and county clerks with clean audits in the previous year to save money.

"A lot of people don't realize that we invoice for audits," Harmon said. The bill allows for any office that gets a clean audit -- without any findings -- to apply to have an Agreed-Upon Procedure (AUP) audit, where rather than auditing the full financial statements, specific areas are targeted.

This will allow offices to save money, possibly around 50% of the fees, while also helping his own office prioritize staff to areas that need them and have less staff on lower-risk audits.

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