Michael Adams

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This week in Kentucky politics, Gov. Matt Bevin said he’s going to return to the private sector after losing his race for reelection.

Gov.-elect Andy Beshear named the first appointees of his administration. And incoming Secretary of State Michael Adams says he wants to clean Kentucky’s voter rolls and get a voter ID bill passed before next year’s elections.


Kyeland Jackson

Incoming Secretary of State Michael Adams says he wants to “clean” Kentucky’s voter rolls and get the legislature to pass a voter ID law before next year’s election season.

The moves by Kentucky’s incoming chief election officer would have significant implications for next year’s political races, when Kentuckians will vote for contests in the U.S. Senate, Congress, all 100 seats in the state House of Representatives and half of the 38-member state Senate.

Adams, a Republican, made the comments before the legislature’s Interim Joint Committee on State Government as he outlined his priorities for the next four years.


Michael Adams

Kentucky’s next Secretary of State is Republican Michael Adams. Adams, an election lawyer with ties to prominent conservative politicians, defeated Democrat Heather French Henry, a former state government official and Miss America.

The Secretary of State is Kentucky’s top election official, and also oversees administrative functions such as maintaining business filings.

Adams is an election lawyer in Louisville and serves as counsel for the Great America Committee, a political action committee created by Vice President Mike Pence.

Ryland Barton

The secretary of state is Kentucky’s top election official, maintains business filings and trademarks and oversees the Land Office, which keeps property records dating back to before Kentucky became a state in 1792.

Current Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, a Democrat, is term-limited and cannot seek reelection. Grimes’ office has been in turmoil over the past year, after a staffer on the State Board of Elections accused her of improperly accessing voter registration data, and the legislature stripped some of her powers. At one point she had considered running for governor.

Lisa Autry

The Kentucky Republican hoping to succeed Alison Lundergan Grimes as Secretary of State believes the office is on probation until Grimes’ term ends in January. 

Michael Adams, an election law attorney in Louisville, is pledging to restore confidence in the office if elected in November. 

The state legislature stripped Grimes of some of her authority over elections after a member of the Kentucky Board of Elections filed a complaint alleging she abused her power.  Grimes has adamantly denied the claims, calling them politically motivated.  Adams says he doesn’t think the action was aimed at the office, but the officeholder.


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Democrat Heather French Henry and Republican Michael Adams will face off in the November election for Kentucky Secretary of State.

French Henry, currently the Kentucky Deputy Veteran Affairs Commissioner, emerged from a group of four Democrats vying for Kentucky Secretary of State. French Henry also was the former Veteran Affairs Commissioner under former Gov. Steve Beshear. In Tuesday’s primary, with about 93 percent of precincts reporting, she had won about 71 percent of the Democrat votes.