Adam Edelen

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Adam Edelen
Adam Edelen.jpg
Kentucky Auditor of Public Accounts
In office
January 2, 2012-Present
Term ends
Years in position 3
PredecessorCrit Luallen (D)
Base salary$117,329
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 8, 2011
First electedNovember 8, 2011
Next generalNovember 3, 2015
Campaign $$901,615
Term limitsTwo terms
Bachelor'sUniversity of Kentucky College of Agriculture
Date of birthNovember 26, 1974
Place of birthMeade County, Kentucky
ProfessionBusiness Management Consultant
Office website
Campaign website
Adam Edelen is the 46th and current Democratic Kentucky Auditor of Public Accounts. He first won election on November 8, 2011, and was sworn-in on January 2, 2012.[1][2]

Edelen's first term will expire in January 2016 and he is eligible to run in the 2015 elections. After giving sincere consideration to a bid for governor, Edelen decided he would instead seek a second term as state auditor. He ended his exploratory campaign for governor on June 18, 2014, citing concerns about how the strains of such a high profile campaign might affect his family as well as the prospect of an uphill primary battle against outgoing state attorney general Jack Conway, a more experienced and recognizable name in Kentucky Democratic politics. At the time of his announcement, Edelen left open the possibility of a run for governor in 2019, stating, “nobody can predict the future.”[3]


Edelen was a self-employed business management consultant when he was elected as auditor in 2011. He previously worked in the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security and served as Chief of Staff to Gov. Steve Beshear. In the private sector he worked as a senior executive with both Commerce Lexington and Thomas & King.[4]


  • Bachelor's degree in agriculture, University of Kentucky

Political career

Kentucky Auditor of Public Accounts (2012-present)

Edelen was sworn-in as the 46th Kentucky Auditor of Public Accounts on January 2, 2012.

Kentucky Governor's Chief of Staff (2008-2010)

Edelen served as Chief of Staff to Gov. Steve Beshear (D) from 2008-2010.[5]



See also: Kentucky Auditor election, 2015

Seven state executive offices in Kentucky are up for election in 2015. The general election will be held on November 3, 2015, following a primary election on May 19, 2015. The following sections summarize filed candidates running for each state executive office on the ballot:

Governor/Lieutenant Governor
Incumbents Steve Beshear (D) and Crit Luallen (D) are not running for re-election.

Attorney General
Incumbent Jack Conway (D) is seeking election as governor

Secretary of State


Commissioner of Agriculture
Incumbent James Comer, Jr. (R) is seeking election as governor

Incumbent Todd Hollenbach (D) is term-limited

Campaign finance

Fourth quarter report (2014)
Comprehensive donor information for this election has been collected from the state's campaign finance authority. Based on available campaign finance records, the candidates raised a total of $95,635 and spent a total of $28,160.34 during this reporting period. This information was last updated on January 25, 2015.[6]

Campaign Contributions and Expenditures
Candidate Office Beginning balance Contributions Expenditures Ending balance
Adam Edelen Democratic Party Kentucky Auditor $180,005.91 $95,635 $28,160.34 $247,480.57
Mike Harmon Republican Party Kentucky Auditor $0 $0 $0 $0
Grand Total Raised $95,635
Grand Total Spent $28,160.34


See also: Kentucky down ballot state executive elections, 2011

Edelen ran unopposed in the May 17 Democratic primary. He defeated Republican John T. Kemper III in the general election on November 8.[7]

Kentucky Auditor, 2011
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngAdam Edelen 55.8% 440,345
     Republican John T. Kemper III 44.2% 349,366
     Independent Kim C. Hay 0% 75
Total Votes 789,786

Adam Edelen campaign ad

Campaign themes

On his 2011 campaign website, Edelen listed three main issues:[8]

  • Accountability
Excerpt: "Adam will use his business experience and bottom-line focus to fight corruption at all levels. In short, Adam will hold government more accountable to the taxpayers who foot the bill."
  • Common Sense:
Excerpt: "From an outdated and inefficient tax code to an unfunded pension obligation that threatens to bankrupt the state, too much of what has come out of Frankfort simply defies common sense."
  • Transparency:
Excerpt: "Adam believes that every government agency and every public-private organization that accepts tax dollars owes the people of Kentucky the highest level of transparency — after all, those who pay the bills have a right to see the checkbook.Adam will be the kind of courageous auditor we need watching our backs, protecting our pocketbooks, and making sure we get the honest, lean and effective government we deserve."


  • The Courier-Journal[9]

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Edelen is available dating back to 2011. Based on available campaign finance records, Edelen raised a total of $901,615 during that time period. This information was last updated on July 11, 2013.[10]

Adam Edelen's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2011 Kentucky Auditor of Public Accounts Won $901,615
Grand Total Raised $901,615


Ballotpedia collects information on campaign donors for each year in which a candidate or incumbent is running for election. The following table offers a breakdown of Adam Edelen's donors each year.[11] Click [show] for more information.

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Political offices
Preceded by
Crit Luallen (D)
Kentucky Auditor of Public Accounts
Succeeded by