Adams brings unique ideas to table in bid for lt. governor

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 13, 2006

The Selma Times-Journal

Hilbun Adams, a carpenter who lives in Vestavia Hills, has tossed his hat in the ring in a bid for lieutenant governor.

He faces seasoned politicians, including George C. Wallace Jr. – who, like Adams is running on the Republican Party ticket – as well as Jim Folsom Jr., who is running on the Democratic Party ticket.

In addition, he faces two other Republicans – Mo Brooks and Luther Strange – in the June 6 primary.

Adams, however, is not deterred.

“God has asked me to step out of the boat, and just be a vessel. That’s what I’ve done.”

Adams brings a unique background to the race -including becoming a citizen of Israel with dual-citizenship and joining the Israeli Defense Force. (He spent eight years in Israel, got married there and his daughters were born there.)

He said that in listening to the people, you find they are dissatisfied with the legislature. “That’s the biggest gripe I hear voters have,” Adams said.

“I believe that the government should be there to help the people succeed, with limited interference from the government,” he said.

Adams said that while he doesn’t have all the answers, he thinks it’s time to think outside the box where Alabama’s future is concerned.

“What I want to do is not only call the Senate to order, but what does the lieutenant governor do after the session is over?

I want to be an ambassador for the people – the voice of the people, to go around the state and talk to them, then go back and tell the governor, ‘this is what the people would like to see happen.'”

He brings unique ideas for the future of Alabama to the table. Those ideas include ways to promote the resources of the state.

“Alabama is a really pretty state. I see up around Huntsville, Fort Payne, even the hills around Birmingham. If you put up a big enough pot, you could have every cyclists in the world pedaling through Alabama to win that prize,” he said. “They would be experiencing the hospitality of Alabama.”

In addition, Alabama has the most navigable waterways of any state in the country, so why not take advantage of that with an eco-tour or kayak or canoe race through the state? “These are superhighways out there with no cars on it,” he said of the state’s rivers.

“It’s just so different and unique that it just might work,” he said.

As for the economy, Adams stressed that Alabama has 10 percent of the nation’s natural resources within its borders, as well as new technology stemming from the state’s relationship with the automotive industry.

“There are three big car manufacturers here – Honda, Hyundai and Mercedes,” Adams said. “And we have engineers in Huntsville. I believe Alabama could build its own car. We could make a car here. We have all the raw materials to do it. By collectively getting this knowledge that’s contained within Alabama, great things would happen.”

Adams said state leaders and residents should have the attitude of “Why not? Why can’t we do this? Why can’t it happen here in Alabama?”

As for the Black Belt, Adams said “I would want to meet with civic leaders and county leaders and sit down and say, ‘what would you like to see happen?'”

Adams spent his summers in Hale County as a little boy at his grandfather’s house, so he understands some of the struggles and special needs of the Black Belt.

“If I went to Hale County to talk to people, I’d like to know what they’d like to see happen –

get input from the people who live there.”

In addition to ideas for tourism and economic expansion, Adams said residents should also think outside the box when it comes to education.

“I don’t believe God can be put in a box,” he said.

“If schools are failing, take the students out of the schools. Take them out in the woods if that’s where they learn best. Blaze a trail through Alabama,” he said.

“If you took inner city kids – kids who are in environments not conducive to learning – you could not only experience Alabama, but make it a learning experience. Give them a project to do. Not as a punishment, but as a challenge.”

Adams said it’s essential to give students a sense of accomplishment and self-confidence.

Overall, Adams sees his bid for state office as a mission – even a “calling.”

“The spirit of the people needs to be awakened and I would like to try to do my part to awaken that,” he said.