Adams, a first-time candidate, sat down with ESSENCE to discuss her campaign and what inspired her to run for office. “I see people like me in the community all the time. I’m a working single, mom,” she said. “We exist, but we don’t seem to have a seat at the table when the decisions are made.”
And even though it’s only her first campaign, Adams described how the spirit of service and community runs in her family. Growing up, her father was a member of the union, working at a chemical plant. Adams said that’s what “taught me what hard work looks like and the importance of supporting your community.”
Because he “worked in a space where you negotiated and with collective bargaining, he brought that type of atmosphere home.” It truly has come full circle for Adams—“it makes sense that I’m ready to go into public service because being a politician should be about service.”
“I’m born and raised here, so for me, this is about my family, my friends, my colleagues. I want to represent all of us. The community has really rallied behind me because they see themselves in me, as a candidate. That’s what’s been so rewarding and so humbling,” said Adams.
Winning this seat has broader ramifications beyond the state of Virginia. Adams explained how “this is a majority making seat.” “We have to flip three seats in order for Democrats to regain the majority in the House of Delegates,” continued Adams. “This is one of the most competitive races in the world, so it is it is crucial that we win this seat in order to protect our reproductive freedoms.”
This seat is more important than ever since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, last summer. Now, the Commonwealth of Virginia is the last remaining state in the South that has not yet imposed any new restrictions or bans on abortion.
“I could be the deciding vote on women’s reproductive freedom,” stated Adams.
Laphonza Butler, President of EMILYs List, underscored the importance of Adams’ race, telling ESSENCE, “As the last state in the South without an abortion ban, the stakes of this race couldn’t be higher. Reproductive rights are on the ballot this November, and Kimberly Pope Adams is the only candidate in this race that Virginians can trust to stand up for their fundamental freedoms.”
“We are the safe haven of the South, and this election is so important because it’s not just for Virginians,” emphasized Adams. I’m fighting to protect reproductive freedom for women coming up from Georgia, for women coming up from South Carolina, over from Tennessee, across from Kentucky. It’s not just about Virginia, and we have to make sure we protect these freedoms” for everyone.
Adams wants everyone to show up at the polls, sharing that while this year is important, as it is every single year. Because, “we have an election every year in Virginia. There’s no off year.” “You have to make your voice heard,” Adams advised, “because if you ever skip a year, then you are potentially allowing the option for folks to come in and strip away our rights and freedoms.”
“We can’t take that chance, so we have to vote every cycle, we have to vote every year because there’s no downtime. There is always something on the ballot, and if we do not make our voices heard, there will always be that opportunity to have our rights taken away,” said Adams.