JFK Library Foundation salutes Kentucky official Michael Adams

Jack Schlossberg and Michael G. Adams, the 2024 JFK Library Foundation Profiles in Courage award recipient. Photo courtesy JFK Library Foundation

Michael G. Adams, Kentucky’s secretary of state, received the 2024 Profile in Courage Award from the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation on Sunday evening in front of an audience of 500 people at JFK Library in Dorchester. A Republican, Adams spoke eloquently about the need for a bipartisan approach to governing and overseeing free and fair elections.

He was recognized for his successful efforts to protect the 2020 election— and subsequent elections— from interference from “election deniers,” despite threats to him personally and politically.

Despite his stance against deniers, Adams was re-elected to another term in 2021 and led efforts to strengthen state laws to protect future elections and to create more access for all voters. He told his Dorchester audience that he shared the award with his colleagues on both sides of the aisle who’ve stood against conspiracy theorists.

“It’s also that Kentucky state and county election officials – here, too, not just me – have been willing to vociferously rebut false claims of vote fraud and election rigging,” Adams said. “Moreover, our voters deserve credit, too, because when we’ve had candidates for these positions, and for our state legislature, who embrace lies and demagoguery, our voters reject them.”

He added: “I would like to think I’ve been given this award to celebrate a happy ending, and to mark an example that others should follow in order to keep the American experiment in self-government alive. Over the past four years, while other states have played politics with voting, and adopted election policies that invite controversy, Kentucky instead has moved forward.

“My goal tonight,” he concluded, “and all our hope as well, is that the moment will not be brief, nor will it be one. May this award, and this ceremony, inspire others across our country to go and do likewise.”

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