82nd District House of Delegates candidate profile: Kimberly Pope Adams

Published 11:52 am Thursday, May 25, 2023

A Democratic primary is set for June 20 to decide the party’s nominee for the new 82nd House of Delegates District, which includes all of Surry County, all of Petersburg, and parts of Prince George and Dinwiddie counties. Kimberly Pope Adams of Dinwiddie is vying for the nomination against Victor McKenzie of Petersburg. The Smithfield Times asked each candidate 10 questions.

Name: Kimberly Pope Adams

Age: 39

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Occupation: Assistant Director of Financial Compliance at Virginia State University

Prior elected offices held: First-Time Candidate

1. Can you briefly summarize why you decided to run for the 82nd District?

I’m born and raised in Hopewell, and have lived in Dinwiddie County for almost 16 years. The 82nd District is my home, and my lived experiences have shown me I’m ready to step up and be a voice for working families in my community. I’m running to represent my friends, my neighbors, and my colleagues. There’s work to be done, and I can’t imagine serving anywhere else.

2. Who is your political role model? Why?

Currently, my political role model is Katie Porter, the first working single mother of young kids to serve in Congress. I also am a single mom, and I admire the way she balances her responsibilities as a parent with serving her constituents. Seeing her fight for everyday issues encourages me to keep fighting as well.

3. What change, if any, to state law would you like to see in the wake of last year’s overturning of Roe v. Wade?

I want to see a constitutional amendment enshrining a woman’s right to choose in Virginia. Government has no place in a woman’s healthcare decision – and all decisions should be made between the woman and her doctor without interference from politicians.

4. Should school personnel be required to use transgender students’ preferred names, pronouns and/or not reveal their gender identity to their parents? Why or why not?

I’m the mother of a (soon to be) 15-year-old, and I cannot imagine the challenges our youth face in 2023. The public-school system should be a place of mutual respect and acceptance of all students, especially trans students. Every student should be allowed to live and learn without fear of being “outed” in what should be a safe space.

5. Do you agree with Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s executive order banning “divisive concepts, including Critical Race Theory” from public schools? Why or why not?

I’ve worked in higher education for over ten years, and I can emphatically say that Critical Race Theory is not being taught in Virginia’s K-12 public schools. I believe Governor Youngkin’s executive order was an attempt to dilute the accuracy of Virginia’s history. As Virginians, our history is complicated and sometimes uncomfortable, but deserves to be taught to students in its entirety.

6. What more can Virginia do to prevent mass shootings?

Virginia must do as much as it can to mitigate future mass shootings. We must enact common sense legislation, including red flag laws and prohibiting ghost guns, to keep these deadly weapons out of the wrong hands.

7. Should the state get involved in stemming or encouraging the proliferation of solar farms in rural counties?

I live in a rural county (Dinwiddie) and there is no one size fits all model for solar farms in Virginia. I believe each locality should have the right to weigh the pros/cons and decide for themselves whether solar farms are beneficial for their community.

8. Should Surry County have the option of raising its local sales tax by 1% by voter referendum to fund school construction projects? Why or why not?

As an accountant, I know that the Commonwealth’s failure to fully fund our public schools places an undue burden on localities. I support the use of voter referenda as a fair, democratic way to ensure the voice of citizens is considered in governmental decisions.

9. What is one issue where you disagree with your political party’s national stance?

I would like to see the Democratic Party devote more attention and resources to engaging rural voters. Rural Democrats like myself are hardworking people passionate about the “kitchen table” issues impacting our everyday lives. No one’s vote counts more than another, so we need to do a better job communicating what unites us.

10. How should retail marijuana sales be implemented, or should the 2021 legalization be overturned? 

As the daughter of a union worker, I support an equitable implementation of a legal recreational cannabis market, where workers are prioritized and small, women, and minority businesses are not excluded. The market could be taxed similar to tobacco, with tax revenue reinvested in the community.