Adams speaks to Rowan Democrats, mentions intent to run for re-election

Published 12:10 am Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Democratic Party has got to get mean in 2016, according to U.S. Rep. Alma Adams.

Adams, a Democrat who represents North Carolina’s 12th Congressional District, was the keynote speaker on Saturday for a Rowan Democrats fundraising luncheon, where she focused on 2016 elections, partisanship and issues in Washington, D.C., she’s passionate about. While talking to local Democrats about campaign organizing, she stated her intentions to run for re-election.

“While the top of the ballot is going to be heavy in 2016, it’s still important that we fight all the way down,” Adams said. “All elections are local. To do what we’ve got to do in 2016, we’ve gotta get mean”

She said that during the 2014 elections Democrats didn’t focus as heavily as they should have on local elections. She said a large Democratic turnout is important for 2016 presidential elections, but also for local elections that fall in between. Adams held up the Rowan Democrats’ slate from the 2014 elections as an example of effective election organizing, the kind they need to continue for the 2016 ballot.

“I haven’t looked at it, but I do hope my name is on it,” Adams joked. “I am going to be running again and hopefully I will have your support.”

Adams moved on to other topics quickly after the statement and left for another event immediately after the speech.

During her speech, Adams described a story where she waited for a staff member in the Republican cloakroom. Unaware at the time that different cloakrooms existed for Republicans and Democrats, Adams said she realized her staffer was waiting outside of the Democratic Party’s cloakroom.

The cloakroom story occurred in late 2014. Even in 2015, Adams said she’s still learning about partisan divides on Capitol Hill. An entrance to one of Adams’ four committees has separate entrances for Republicans and Democrats.

“It’s a partisan place,” Adams said. “A lot of it is just very well constructed. With the way things are set up, I believe that we’ve truly got to work with our colleagues across the aisle.”

She mentioned a letter drafted last week and sent to N.C. Republican Sens. Thom Tillis and Richard Burr that pressed the pair to put aside partisan politics and support North Carolina native Loretta Lynch to be nominated for attorney general. However, Adams said she’s also taken to texting Tillis to try and sway his opinion.

Adams, who was sitting behind Tillis during a committee hearing, recalled texting the freshman senator: “Hope what I’ve heard is not true, but that you are going to support Loretta Lynch. This is Alma Adams and I’m sitting right behind you.”

Adams jokingly said Tillis never texted her back.

During her speech, Adams mentioned multiple pieces of legislation she’s working on, but spoke extensively about voting rights in North Carolina. She referenced a state law that requires voters to show a photo ID at polling places beginning this year. She said lawmakers should focus on making voting easier for Americans and not more difficult through measures such as mandatory voter ID laws. The Democrats in the room responded to Adams’ comments with raucous applause.

“We’ve got to make sure we’re more than concerned,” she said. “When you’re concerned, you might talk about it. When you’re truly committed, you don’t just talk about it, you do something about it.”

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246