Michael Adams

Chalmers, Adams, Backer & Kaufman, LLC

Attorneys | Adams

Personal Experience & Biography

Michael G. Adams brings a wealth of experience in political, governmental and constitutional law to the firm. He has counseled and represented candidates, PACs, issue groups, donors and political consultants, in connection with federal, state and local elections. He also counsels clients in other constitutional and litigation matters.

From 2007 to 2019, Michael served as general counsel to the Republican Governors Association, one of the nation’s foremost political organizations, ensuring compliance with campaign-finance, ethics and pay-to-play laws, and guiding the RGA’s efforts to elect Republican governors nationwide. He has represented numerous congressional and gubernatorial campaigns and outside groups in races across the country. In 2019, Michael was elected Secretary of State of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

During the George W. Bush Administration, Michael served at the U.S. Department of Justice as Deputy Chief Privacy & Civil Liberties Officer and Counsel to the Deputy Attorney General. Prior to that, Michael served as Deputy General Counsel to Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher. His knowledge gained from experience at senior levels of state and federal government and national politics provides significant value to the firm’s clients.


  • University of Louisville, B. A., 1998
    McConnell Program for Political Leadership
  • Harvard Law School, J.D. 2001
    Executive Editor, Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy

Bar Admissions

  • Kentucky
  • District of Columbia

Federal Court Admissions

  • Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Eastern District of Kentucky
  • Western District of Kentucky

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Kentucky State Board of Elections, 2016-2018
  • Republican National Lawyers Association (National Board, 2012-2015)
  • Advisory Task Force on Kentucky Campaign Finance Law Revision, 2005 (gubernatorial appointee)
  • Federalist Society
  • Mensa inductee

Seminars and Speaking Engagements

  • Kentucky Election Law Update, June 2023
  • A History of Kentucky Election Law, June 2022
  • Kentucky Election Law Update, May 2021
  • Campaign Manager School: Ensuring a System of Compliance – August 2017
  • Electioneering Communication Laws & State Restrictions on Political Activity – August 2017
  • Non-Federal Political Organization Issues in Federal Years – August 2016
  • Trends in State Election Law – August 2015
  • Four Months Later: The Impact of McCutcheon v. FEC – August 2014
  • How to Conduct Reporting & Disclosure for a Campaign, Initiative or 501c3, 4, or 6 – August 2013
  • Political Law 101: Campaign Finance, Gift Rules, Lobbying – July 2013
  • Political Activity & Nonprofit Organizations – August 2012


  • “Missouri Compromise: Did the Posthumous Senatorial Election of Mel Carnahan and Subsequent Appointment of Jean Carnahan Compromise Federal or State Law?” – N. Ky. L. Rev. (2002)


Michael Adams