Attorney General candidate speaks at College Republicans meeting

John Adams makes stop to increase visibility, engage with voters


John Adams, Republican nominee for attorney general of Virginia, speaking to University students. 

Leila Sachner | Cavalier Daily

John Adams, Republican nominee for Attorney General of Virginia, spoke at the University Monday during a meeting co-hosted by the College Republicans and the Virginia Law Republicans.

Adams has been campaigning for over a year in preparation for the election this November. He said he came to the University hoping to increase his visibility and engage with more voters.

“I feel like it’s incumbent on me to go to as many of the college campuses as I can,” Adams said. “If you want to win an election statewide, you've got to have people engaged across the spectrum in terms of age and experience level and all that.”

The event was casual, with only 29 in attendance. Adams began by explaining his background and experience to the audience. He then offered the audience the opportunity to ask him questions.

The audience was involved in the discussion, and many were excited to hear him speak.

“I think he is probably one of the best candidates that we've had running across the board, and we are really excited that we have him running,” said Adam Kimelman, a second-year College student and incoming chair of the College Republicans.

Adams has never run for office before, and explained he’s running for attorney general because he wants to take the politics out of the office.

“I view the office as a truly legal executive position,” Adams said. “Probably the most important thing is, I think, when the people of Virginia pass a law and the legislature signs it and the governor signs it and it becomes the law, it becomes the job of the Attorney General to defend those laws and not pick and choose which laws to enforce.”

Adams also expressed dissatisfaction with the power of the U.S. Supreme Court.

“A living Constitution doesn’t work because if the Constitution is living, what does that mean? It’s changing, right? Who gets to decide what the change is?” Adams said. “Nine judges on the U.S. Supreme Court. And do you elect them? Can you unelect them? No.”

Adams graduated from the Virginia Military Institute in 1996 with a degree in economics. He graduated from the University’s Law School in 2003.

After graduating from law school, Adams worked as a clerk for Judge David Sentelle on the U.S. Court of Appeals and then for Justice Clarence Thomas on the U.S. Supreme Court.

He then worked as an Associate White House Counsel for President George W. Bush. Later, Adams worked as a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s office in Richmond.

Adams is currently in private practice, as a lawyer for the Richmond-based firm McGuireWoods.

Adams is the presumptive Republican nominee for Virginia Attorney General, as he is the party’s only candidate who qualified to appear on ballot for the position in the upcoming June 13 Republican Party primary. He will presumably compete against incumbent Attorney General Mark Herring (D) in the Nov. 7 general election. 

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