The "downballot" contests are no longer ignorable, especially for the Secretary of State position. This November election comes when Republicans nationally are actively engaged in suppressing the vote as their only way to election victory. And the best position from which to either suppress or encourage voting -- the key to democracy -- is the Secretary of State position.

Heather French Henry is the Democratic candidate for Kentucky Secretary of State. She was raised in Augusta, Kentucky, and has bachelors and master's degrees from the University of Cincinnati. Her father is a veteran of the Marines who was wounded in Vietnam, and she has been outspoken in many forums on veterans issues. As a result, the late Senator Paul Wellstone and the late Congressman Lane Evans attached her name to the Heather French Henry Homeless Veterans Assistance Act that became law in December of 2001. Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear appointed her Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs in 2014, and Republican governor Matt Bevin retained her as Deputy Commissioner in that Department. In that capacity, she has served over 300,000 Kentucky veterans with a staff of nearly 900 employees. With her husband, Dr. Stephen L. Henry, a former Kentucky Lieutenant Governor, she has been active in public health and conservation efforts.

Heather French Henry's platform includes: 1. Extending polling hours beyond the 6-6 current hours that prevent many voters from getting to the polls; 2. Creating an early voting period starting two Saturdays before election day; 3. Eliminating all requirements for requesting an absentee ballot that can be filled out and returned by those who are unable to easily go to the polling place or those who will be away on election day; 4. Automatic restoration of voting rights to non-violent offenders who have paid their debts to society; 5. Actively holding voter registration drives at high schools and colleges.

Michael G. Adams is the Republican candidate for Kentucky Secretary of State. He grew up in Paducah, graduated from the University of Louisville, and has a law degree from Harvard University. He has worked for U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell and Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher.

From 2007 until 2018, he served as General Counsel for the Republican Governors Association, helping a variety of Republicans get elected around the country. He has also represented "pro-life" and tea party issue groups. He represented Vice President Mike Pence's political committee, and most recently was appointed by Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin to the Kentucky State Board of Elections and served there until beginning his campaign for Secretary of State.

His platform includes advocating the purging of voter rolls and enacting a law that requires everybody to have a photo ID in order to vote. When asked in the KFTC questionnaire specifically about the issues on his opponent's platform, the only one he agreed with was to extend voting hours to 8 p.m., and he explicitly pledged opposition to restoring voting rights to felons.

This is a regular monthly feature in The Richmond Register ­-- a column by Madison County Democrats. None of these columns express the official positions of the Party.


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