Adams in Murray

Calloway County Republican Party Chairman Ed Davs, right, greets Kentucky Secretary of State candidate Michael Adams Tuesday afternoon during a campaign stop in Murray.

MURRAY — During a campaign stop in Murray Tuesday afternoon, the Republican Party candidate for Kentucky secretary of state said he has nothing against his Democratic Party opponent when it comes to her as a person. 

In fact, Paducah native Michael Adams, who now resides in Louisville, said it was a few days ago that he and his campaign officials actually bumped into opponent Heather French Henry and her family as the camps crossed paths in Union County. He said they even talked for a few minutes and he described the encounter as very pleasant. 

However, when it comes to the office they are seeking, he said his experience should be a determining factor. 

“She has no election experience whatsoever, in comparison to my experience and she doesn’t want to debate the issues because it doesn’t reflect favorably on her,” Adams said, emphasizing his time in Washington D.C. where, under the administration of President George W. Bush, he served the Republican Governors Association and was able to deal with matters such as ballot access and ballot recounts. 

“With the Republican Governors Association, I have been with them 12 years and done races in all 50 states. Now, as far as what the secretary of state’s office’s duties are, most of is just form stamping. What it does do and where it has authority and where it has power is over elections and if the people of this state didn’t know about that a year and-a-half ago, they know it now.”

Adams is referring to the tenure of the person that currently holds that office, Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes.

“Just to recap the things you’ve seen in the last year or so, our incumbent secretary of state is the subject of numerous investigations over the misuse of the voter file for personal and political purposes, contracting to a major donor, discrimination in hiring, refusal to clean up the voter rolls despite a federal court order to do so and retaliation against whistle blowers,” Adams said. “In fact, just (Tuesday), the secretary of state’s father is on trial in front of a federal jury for alleged fraud in connection with her campaign for the U.S. Senate in 2014 (a loss to incumbent Mitch McConnell) and part of that evidence is not just that the 2014 election was tainted by undisclosed money, but it was also like that in the 2011 and 2015 elections for secretary of state that she ran. 

“So all of that is to say that this office is in crisis in a way it hasn’t been in living memory. The time has never been more important to have someone in this office that can restore credibility and tranquility to this office. And if there is any office in Kentucky politics that needs to be above politics and above suspicion, it’s the chief election official because this person has to be fair and neutral and objective and play it straight, and we haven’t had that in this office the last eight years.”

Adams said Henry is not addressing this in her campaign.

“My opponent is very carefully not commenting on these scandals of the last year,” he said. “She’s actually a major donor to Grimes and describes her as a close friend, and so the fact that she hasn’t had courage to point out these scandals and offer to make any changes says a lot. I think we need a clean break. The public needs to have confidence, and I think the only way to do that is with a clean break and clean slate and to put in some new people and have complete turnover.”  

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