Republican State Sen. Bill Stanley (20th) isn’t going to get a free ride in next year’s General Assembly elections. Democrat Kim Adkins, the mayor of Martinsville, has announced her candidacy. When I spoke to Adkins recently, she talked of the need to build a strong grassroots campaign in order to beat Stanley and the importance of starting her campaign early, noting that the district is quite large and diverse.
Adkins said, “I want to have time to introduce myself to people and to build relationships. That takes lots of time and effort.” She also noted that she has had success in raising campaign funds so far, outraising Stanley in the last quarter. Adkins has also been endorsed by former Sen. Roscoe Reynolds.
Former president of the Martinsville-Henry County Chamber of Commerce and owner of a public relations and marketing company, Adkins was elected to the Martinsville City Council in 2010 and was named mayor by the council. She was re-elected mayor in 2013. She is a supporter of Medicaid expansion, since almost 16,000 people in the 20th District would qualify for medical insurance if the legislature passed Marketplace Virginia. “The state should be a partner in this, not the problem,” Adkins said. “Our current senator, Bill Stanley, has been a part of the problem, and I want to change that.”
Stanley authored the amendment to the state budget that denied Gov. Terry McAuliffe a chance to expand Medicaid without a vote of the General Assembly. That amendment passed the State Senate by 20-19, following the sudden, very questionable resignation of Democrat Phil Puckett, an act that threw control of the chamber to the GOP.
Adkins is married to Jeff Adkins, the basketball coach at Martinsville High School, and is the mother of two children.