Alma Adams no big fan of Malcolm Graham

U.S. Rep. Alma Adams defeated Malcolm Graham, Tricia Cotham and others in a June primary.
U.S. Rep. Alma Adams defeated Malcolm Graham, Tricia Cotham and others in a June primary. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

The wounds appear not to have healed from U.S. Rep. Alma Adams’s spirited congressional campaign against Charlotte’s Malcolm Graham and other candidates.

Adams, who won 43 percent of the vote in a seven-candidate field in June, met with the Observer editorial board on Monday. It was clear that she’s not a big Graham fan.

“I never heard from him (after the vote). I never got a call from him,” Adams said, noting that she did get a congratulatory call from opponent Tricia Cotham. “Maybe he’ll want me to embrace him down the line (in another election), but I don’t know.”

During the campaign, a WBTV reporter surprised Adams by appearing at her Greensboro house to ask her about her claim that she now lives in Charlotte. Adams fled without talking to the reporter, a reaction she later blamed on being in an emotional state after visiting her mother’s grave.

“I think my opponents were behind that,” she said Monday.

Adams’s residency became an issue in the campaign because the 12th congressional district was redrawn and the new one is entirely within Mecklenburg County. Adams has lived in Greensboro for decades.

Graham emphasized his Charlotte roots during the campaign.

“Sometimes, being rooted (in a place), people know more about you than you want them to know,” Adams said.

Graham told the editorial board Monday that he had nothing to do with the WBTV story “but the report proved what we’ve been saying all along – that she doesn’t live here.” He said he tweeted his congratulations to her on election night.

“We don’t have a relationship. She would walk into a room and wouldn’t speak to me at all during the campaign, and her campaign workers were pretty rude,” Graham said.

Adams offered thoughts on other topics:

▪ “I’m scared” of Donald Trump, she said, and she thinks some Republicans are scared too. “The right thing will only happen if good people go and vote.”

▪ She thinks black voters will support Hillary Clinton with enthusiasm similar to what they gave Barack Obama in 2008, especially after Obama’s endorsement of Clinton at the Democratic National Convention last week. “We needed just a word from the man,” she said.

▪ She applauded a 4th Circuit panel of judges’ ruling against North Carolina’s voter ID bill last week. “We should be concerned about making voting being something that does not create a lot of problems for folks,” she said. She thinks black voter turnout will be 6 to 8 percent higher than it would have been without that ruling.

▪ She lives in Charlotte now, she says. “I’m laying my head in Charlotte most nights, as I did last night.”