Kirk Adams (born February 2, 1973) is a former Republican member of the Arizona House of Representatives, serving as Speaker from 2009 to 2011. He ran for the Republican nomination in 2012 for Congress in Arizona's 5th congressional district and was defeated by former U.S Congressman, Rep. Matt Salmon.
Early life and education
Adams was first elected to the Arizona legislature in 2006. During his tenure in the State House, Adams endorsed legislation which resulted in the largest permanent tax cut in Arizona history. As Speaker, Adams took on public-employee unions, authoring legislation to reform Arizona's pension system for public employees by raising the retirement age, eliminating cost of living adjustments, preventing employees from receiving a pension while working, reducing benefits for elected officials and requiring police officers, firefighters, elected officials and corrections employees pay more for their pensions. Adams opted out of the elected officials retirement plan, earning him recognition from the National Taxpayers Union.
2012 Congressional campaign
In the Spring of 2011, Adams resigned from office to announce that he would run in 2012 for Congress in Arizona's 5th congressional district, after redistricting, the seat left open by Jeff Flake. He was then defeated by former Congressman Matt Salmon in the primary.
Post 2012 Congressional campaign
A few weeks after losing his primary race against Matt Salmon for a congressional seat, Adams became president of Americans for Responsible Leadership a political lobbying non-profit 501(c)(4). Adams has claimed as one of his responsibilities the allocation of funds and directed $750,000 spent opposing Arizona Proposition 204, and $450,000 against Proposition_121. Under Adams' direction Americans for Responsible Leadership funneled a total of $11 million given by undisclosed sources via Americans for Job Security and the Center to Protect Patient Rights to groups in California who used the money to oppose California's Proposition 30 and support the anti-union Proposition 32. Prop 30 won, Prop 32 was defeated and California's Attorney General is considering a money laundering investigation against Americans for Responsible Leadership and those that directed its funds.
Chief of Staff, Governor of Arizona
On December 2, 2014, Governor-elect Doug Ducey announced that Adams, who was already a co-chair of Ducey’s transition committee would become his chief of staff. Ducey said, “Kirk’s accomplishments, talent and knowledge are second-to-none,”. And, “his record as a policy leader, consensus-builder and budget expert will assist in my efforts to work closely with the Legislature to balance the budget, and put in place policies that encourage job creation and economic growth. I have the utmost confidence in Kirk and I am very pleased he will serve as my chief of staff.”
Adams and his wife JaNae live in Mesa and have six children.
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