Photo by Todd Luck
BY TODD LUCK
City Council Member Denise “D.D” Adams held a kickoff event for her bid for the Fifth Congressional District seat of longtime Republican incumbent Rep. Virginia Foxx.
Adams, a Winston-Salem native who has represented the North Ward since 2009, greeted about 60 supporters at Big Winston Lounge on Saturday, April 1.
Adams announced in February her intention to run in 2018 for the Fifth District seat, which Foxx has held since 2005. Though the 11-county district has been a longtime Republican stronghold, the diverse crowd was confident in Adams’ chances. The district make up changed after the lines were redrawn in 2016 after a court ordered them to be. All of Forsyth County is now in the Fifth District, when it wasn’t before.
“We have this moment where we can either seize the moment or regret that we didn’t seize the moment,” said Paulette Everette, Adams’ campaign coordinator.
Adams told supporters that she believes discontent with Republicans, like the historically unpopular President Donald Trump, will help propel her to victory.
“I believe that right now, we have the best opportunity ever to flip this district,” she said. “The stars have lined up. They’re imploding as we speak. And people that even supported that administration are turning their back.”
Adams said that Foxx has done little for her constituents in Congress. She promised to improve job opportunities, health care and education in the district. She said she’d listen and respond to her constituents.
Adams supporters also spoke, attesting to her energy and dedication to service. Richard Caban Cubero met Adams last year, having met her when he spoke in front of the City Council asking members to ratify a resolution responding to HB 2, a state law many considered discriminatory that has now been repealed. Adams passionately spoke against HB 2 and voted in favor of the resolution.
“The thing I always like about D.D. is that she always brings the fire,” he said.
Though the primary isn’t until January, Adams said it’s necessary to start a campaign early to raise the needed support and campaign funds. She’s trying to raise $300,000 in the next three or four months and said the whole campaign may cost $2.5 million. It’s a 24/7 job, in which she’s constantly traveling between counties.
“I’m going to need you to have my back,” said Adams. “If you’re not in this all the way with me, I ain’t mad at you, but like I tell people, you might want to get out of my way because I’m running.”
Adams is one of two Democrats running for the seat. Jenny Marshall, who also lives in Winston-Salem and works as a teacher, held her kickoff event in February and actually launched her website and social media back in December 2016. She said Monday that it takes a long time to build the ground-work to take on an entrenched incumbent in a large district and hopes to raise $1.5 million by the general election.
Marshall, a longtime campaign volunteer and first time candidate, said she felt this was the campaign cycle that the right candidate could make a difference against Foxx. She said her issues include income inequality, strengthening Medicare and Social Security, supporting public education and protecting the environment.
“I believe we need someone to run for the seat that takes the people’s will with them and that a representative should be representative of the people that they serve and Virginia Foxx does not do that,” she said.