Michael grew up in McCracken County and attended public schools. His dad worked for the railroad and belonged to the IBEW union, and his mom worked for a dentist. They were Democrats, like pretty much everyone else Michael knew, but he was inspired by Ronald Reagan, Jack Kemp and other Republican leaders. Michael volunteered at age 16 for Bush/Quayle ’92, discovered he had a knack for politics, and before long was taking strategic roles in local Republican campaigns.
Michael worked his way through college, and was the first graduate on either side of his family. He did well enough in his studies to get into Harvard Law School, and was able to attend with the help of low-income financial aid. His goal was to become an election lawyer for Republicans. After working for Sen. McConnell, Gov. Fletcher and President George W. Bush’s Justice Department, he was named General Counsel for the Republican Governors Association, and for the last 11 years has helped them compete in governors’ races in all 50 states.
Beyond the RGA, Michael has built a successful Republican election-law practice, where he has represented Vice President Mike Pence’s political committee, the National Federation of Republican Women, and scores of other conservative candidates, committees and causes. In 2016, as treasurer and counsel to Kentuckians for Strong Leadership, a Super PAC targeting Kentucky state house districts, he contributed to efforts that helped flip the Kentucky House of Representatives to Republican control for the first time in nearly a century.
In recognition of Michael’s expertise in election law and conservative credentials, Gov. Bevin appointed him to the Kentucky State Board of Elections, where Michael served for a year and a half before resigning to run for Secretary of State.
Kentucky’s Secretary of State chairs the State Board of Elections and is the Commonwealth’s top elections official. There simply is no one, in either party, better qualified for this role than Michael Adams.
Michael is happily married to Christina and the proud father of Lucia. He enjoys hiking, shooting and fishing and is active in his church.