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The Race for the 5th District: Virginia Foxx vs. DD Adams

By Nathan Ham

Avery County resident and current incumbent Rep. Virginia Foxx hopes to secure another term in the U.S. House of Representatives representing the 5th District, a seat she has held since 2004.

Standing in her way is Democratic challenger DD Adams, a native of Winston-Salem who has served as a city council member representing the North Ward of Winston-Salem since 2009.

Who They Are

Virginia Foxx (R)

  • Grew up in Avery County.
  • First member of her family to ever graduate high school or college.
  • Graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in college teaching.
  • Received her Doctorate in Education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
  • Foxx and her husband, Tom, established a successful nursery and landscaping business that is still family-operated by their daughter.
  • Served as an instructor at Caldwell Community College, professor and administrator at Appalachian State University and President of Mayland Community College in Spruce Pine.
  • National Journal ranked Foxx as the most Conservative member of the North Carolina Congressional Delegation.
  • Base salary: $174,000 annually

DD Adams (D)

  • Native of Winston-Salem
  • Received her B.A. in Speech Communication from Morgan State University
  • Member of Emmanuel Baptist Church
  • Graduate of several leadership organizations including Leadership North Carolina, Institute of Political Leadership of North Carolina and Leadership Winston-Salem.
  • Currently serving as Vice Chair of the Finance Committee and the Community Development/Housing/General Government Committee on Winston-Salem City Council.
  • Served on the board for the N.C. League of Municipalities, Arts Council, Firee Tee of the Triad and Forsyth County Community Garden Extension.
  • As a city council member, Adams focused on raising wages for police, fire and city workers, worked hard to bring infrastructure investment to Winston-Salem, including renovation of Benton Convention Center, and supported pro-LGBTQ rights for city employees to be allowed to include their partners and children as dependents as it relates to retirement and health care benefits.

On the Issues

Virginia Foxx

  • Limited government: “I will remain steadfast in my commitment to stop the growth of the federal government in its tracks and return to the states their constitutionally-granted governing powers.”
  • Spending and debt: “In order to ensure our children and grandchildren are given the same opportunities we have enjoyed, we must continue tightening the purse strings and balance the budget. Congress has adopted a budget that balances for the first time in years and federal spending has dropped for the first time in decades. We must continue to cut wasteful federal spending and redirect limited funds to federal priorities such as national defense and protecting programs Americans rely on such as Social Security and Medicare.”
  • Energy: “God blessed America with abundant resources, including fossil fuels and renewable energy sources. All of those resources should be safely developed and Washington bureaucrats should not be able to arbitrarily lock away those resources on public land. Whenever possible, the federal government should remove red-tape barriers to energy development and defer to the states’ abilities to regulate energy production within their borders. We should also allow for private sector infrastructure development investment, such as construction of the Keystone Pipeline, which will pay dividends through lower costs at the pump and on power bills.”
  • Education: “As the U.S. Constitution reserved authority over education to the states, the federal role in education should be reduced wherever possible, and the federal government should never be allowed to impose top-down dictates such as Common Core on states. North Carolinians know best how to direct their education funding to ensure a student’s success, not an administrator’s budget, comes first, and I have great trust in our state’s ability to be a leader on education.”
  • Protecting the unborn: “As a proud mother and grandmother, I am acutely aware of the precious value of every God-given life. Defending innocent, voiceless lives at all stages is a calling of paramount importance. As proscribed in America’s founding documents, life is the most fundamental of human rights and must be protected. As a proud pro-life champion, I will never waver in my support of efforts to do so however possible, including banning elective abortion on developed, unborn children capable of feeling pain and ending federal funding of the abortion industry.”
  • Jobs and economic growth: “While the federal government is ill-suited to create jobs, it can help ensure an opportunity economy by lowering taxes, reducing red-tape, and creating economic certainty. Another issue vital to a modern, competitive economy in North Carolina is workforce development and providing the skills necessary to fill the technology-based and service jobs that make up that modern economy. As with traditional education, efforts to provide skills development should be led by the states and local communities, and I am proud to be a leader in helping these communities ensure they have the authority they need to succeed in building strong workforce development programs.”

DD Adams

  • Jobs and economic growth: “My focus is to create: a safe and healthy society, a fair tax code, and a strong and well-educated workforce. I believe that within our local communities and in our greater society, we all benefit when we lift up those who have fallen, support families so they can return to prosperity, and ensure a secure and safe workplace that pays a decent wage.”
  • Healthcare: “Healthcare is a right, not a privilege. It is necessary to a quality life. Ultimately, we need to move to a single-payer system. This must be a thoughtful process, because our national healthcare industry (insurance and providers) represents a sixth of the economy. Healthcare employs almost 500,000 people and comprises $2.5 trillion of the U.S. economy. We have the ability to provide healthcare for all while protecting current jobs. We cannot follow the slash-and-burn approach proposed by the current Congress.”
  • Education: “All public school students, pre-K through grade 12, need the best in technology, including high-speed internet and safe environments in which to learn. Many school buildings in our district are in need of repair. Some have no internet service or even running water! That’s an outrage. We need safe schools, resources for students from pre-K through 12th grade, and better-paid teachers. Smaller class sizes and improved opportunities for those with learning differences are also essential. If we are serious about having an educated workforce and electorate, then community colleges and trades schools should be taxpayer funded. This means not diverting taxpayer dollars to private institutions. Preparing the next generations for leadership—be it in public or private life—should not be done on the cheap. This experiment of choking off our schools in order to make them better must end. I am convinced that if we fund these things like we mean it, our country will be on much stronger footing, both intellectually and economically.”
  • Gun control: “Until we have workable national regulations, we will be unable to address gun violence, because local regulations are inadequate. As a gun owner, I support the Second Amendment, but it is not an absolute right for anyone to own a gun. I support: Requiring a 24-hour waiting period to purchase a handgun, eliminating the gun show loophole, reinstating the assault rifle ban, requiring owners to be licensed and insured, requiring owners to be safety certified and certifications to be renewed on a regular basis, banning items such as high-capacity clips and bump stocks and eliminating protections for gun manufacturers.”
  • Environment: “We want clean air and water. We want to protect our 2 million acres of private land. The current reliance on a market-based framework has resulted in pollution of air, water, and soil; the loss of biodiversity; endangered natural resources; and waste products polluting the soil. I believe in environmental policy integration (EPI), which is the process of integrating environmental objectives into non-environmental areas, such as business development, transportation and energy, agriculture and transportation, rather than leaving them to be pursued solely through purely environmental policy practices. This is challenging because of the need to reconcile diverse objectives.”
  • Securing our borders: “We cannot build walls into security. The idea of walling our borders is a boondoggle and only serves to profit those who do the building. I am in full support of: Providing U.S. Customs and Border Protection with sufficient resources to monitor all points of entry, increased use of high-tech approaches to secure borders and assuring the security of border towns.

Video of responses from Foxx and Adams during Tuesday’s Meet the Candidates Forum can be found below.