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Adams talks jobs, taxes in teleconference
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Friday, April 12, 2013

Les Adams, who is seeking to be the Republican candidate for the 16th District House seat, fielded calls on issues ranging from jobs and guns to budget cuts during a tele-town hall meeting Thursday.

Adams said more than 1,200 people were connected online to the town hall at times. Computer software provided that count, according to Reece Collins, who is working with the Adams campaign.

The approximately 40-minute town hall conference call featured three poll questions, and then the candidate took questions from six callers. Four of them identified themselves as being from Martinsville or Bassett.

One caller from Bassett said she was concerned that whenever there is talk of cutting the budget or programs, senior citizens and veterans are threatened. She asked Adams how he felt about that.

“It is obvious to me that the people we need to look out for the most are those who have given the most,” he said, adding that seniors and veterans are in that category.

He said if elected, he would look out for their interests. He also said government spending should be cut, but not in areas that affect seniors and veterans.

Adams, a Chatham attorney and small business owner, was asked by a Martinsville resident about his stand on gun rights and job creation. He responded that he is a member of the National Rifle Association.

“Keeping guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens and out of the hands of criminals is the best way to protect society,” said Adams, a former prosecutor.

He called the unemployment rate in Martinsville and Henry County “almost unbelievable,” and said private enterprise operates best with fewer regulations and lower taxes.

Another caller asked why Virginia cannot drill off its coast to boost the economy and create jobs. Adams said he was not familiar with that issue but would research it.

A Martinsville caller asked how Adams felt about the transportation package passed in the 2013 General Assembly that will raise taxes and help areas east of Interstate 95 more than this area.

Adams said he was concerned about the bill’s tax increases and cannot imagine a situation in which he would vote for such a tax increase. He added that people here need to be vigilant to make sure they get a share of the bill’s benefits.

A Bassett woman called to ask how she could help Adams’ campaign, and he suggested she plan to vote in the June 11 Republican primary and urge others to do the same.

The final caller, who identified herself as a Chatham small business owner, asked Adams how he would continue to support small businesses. He said taxes on those businesses are too high. “I want to provide the right incentives for economic growth” to help businesses thrive and hire, he added.

The poll questions asked during the call dealt with what issue was most important to voters, whether they would vote for Adams in the primary and whether they would be willing to have his campaign sign in their yard.

After the session, Collins said jobs and the economy was the top priority issue, followed by uranium mining and then taxes and government spending.

Adams said it was coincidental that the majority of calls he answered were from Henry County and Martinsville, and he added that many people taking part in the event were from Pittsylvania County. Reece also noted that voters with Bassett addresses are in the 16th District, although actual Bassett precincts are not.

Adams is running against former Pittsylvania County economic development official Ken Bowman in the Republican primary. The winner then will run in the Nov. 5 House election.


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