Democrats got their first announced candidate for the 3rd District on Monday morning as Desmund Adams officially launched his campaign. Criticizing what he called the “Do-Nothing Congress,” Adams offered up his own personal upbringing and his experience in the business world as a way to bring new leadership to the office Republican David Young currently holds.
“I’m running because of intellectually disingenuous leadership,” Adams said. “I’m running because I want to make Iowa a better place for my kids and for yours”
Adams recounted his life story of how his father left while he was young, he dropped out of high school, but that his mother kept pushing him to make something of himself. He eventually left home to join Job Corps, got a GED, then bachelors degree and finally a law degree at Drake. Adams noted he had many people along the way who supported him and helped him believe he could do more with his life.
With his wife and two sons sitting by his side, Adams kicked off his congressional bid at his alma mater of Drake University with a crowd of over 30 supporters, party and elected officials and reporters. Adams spoke in a slow, deliberate manner, emphasizing every few words. He’s a good speaker, having done professional speaking before. Congressional candidates don’t always get many opportunities this early on in a campaign to talk before lots of large crowds, but he’ll do well when he does.
“Yes, I am a businessman and a proud Democrat, who believes in identifying great people and great ideas, lifting them up and encouraging them in ways so that they can reach their fullest potential,” Adams, who lives in the Dallas County portion of Clive said of his experience. “Business should always be about people.”
“I’m about big, bold solutions,” he offered as he turned to policy issues. “That includes a common sense approach to our energy independence. That means renewable energy. That means clean energy. Iowa is already the leader in wind and renewable fuels. We have seen the kind of innovation that comes from investments in our energy technology.”
“And how about how we pay our teachers?” Adams suggested when speaking of education. “Call me crazy, but I think the folks who educate tomorrow’s leaders shouldn’t be scraping by. They certainly shouldn’t have to pay for materials and supplies themselves.”
“The cost of college education has spiraled out of control,” he continued. “A college degree shouldn’t be only reserved for those that come from wealthy families. It is unconscionable that our leaders in Washington are balancing the budget on the back of our students … I believe that if our government can find the money to give tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires then they can find the money to provide our students with tuition-free community college and vocational training.”
Adams also argued that “the plight of the working poor is real.” He pointed out how the average minimum wage earner is 35-years-old. Criticizing Republicans for saying they’re the party of family values, Adams said family values are really about “about making sure working people can provide safe and stable homes for their kids.” Adams then proposed a $15/hour minimum wage.
Several other Democrats may yet throw their hat into the 3rd District race as well. Chet Culver, Matt McCoy and Jim Mowrer are all other potential candidates. Adams didn’t reference potential rivals or Young in his speech, but was asked about them afterwards.
“I haven’t seen much come out of Congress,” he replied to our question about Young. “I haven’t seen David do much. Matter of fact I see David in line with how Steve King votes 90% of the time.”
“This was not entered into lightly,” Adams said when asked about his fundraising abilities. “My extensive network from being in business for well over a decade and owning my own firm. I’ve had the opportunity to go out and leverage those relationships and ask folks, ‘do you think you could support my campaign?’ … The enthusiasm behind my wanting to get in the race was well-supported.”
Adams is doing a full tour of the district for his announcement, hitting Council Bluffs, Atlantic and Waukee in addition to the Des Moines event at Drake this morning. His campaign website is here.
by Pat Rynard