Trucker Lyn Adams wants to use statewide office partly to advance trucker financial and safety causes.
Lyn Curtis Adams bounds from his black 2002 Ford Explorer full of energy and ready to talk politics. It’s a new passion for him, but one at which he believes he can excel. The only thing that gets him more animated is talk of his 1-year-old daughter, Brenda Lyn. Just don’t call him a politician.
Adams, of Montgomery, Ala., is running for lieutenant governor on the Libertarian ticket. His wife, Kellie, will join him on the ticket as a candidate for Montgomery County revenue commissioner.
Lyn Adams says he is ready to breathe new life into what he believes is a system that rewards career politicians at the expense of taxpayers. He sees his platform as a combination of common sense and innovation.
“It’s like you hear on the CB all the time,” Adams says. “Truck drivers say we need a truck driver in office to listen to our interests.”
Adams, 34, has been a truck driver for 10 years. He went to driving school in 1992, after bouncing from job to job, because he believed that trucking would provide him with a steady career. He drives for Loftin Brothers in Montgomery, which handles deliveries for Alabama Beverage Control Board liquor stores.
“He’s a Christian, nice, well-groomed young man,” says Jack Loftin, owner of Loftin Brothers. “He has modern ideas that fit in on every subject.”
Loftin, who says he was an active volunteer in all of George Wallace’s campaigns, was encouraging when Adams mentioned his desire to run. If Adams doesn’t win, he at least will build name recognition that will help in future races, Loftin says.
Adams says he felt inspired to enter politics after his wife, Kellie, 23, was robbed at gunpoint while working at an ABC store. He says he realized that people convicted of nonviolent drug offenses – such as growing marijuana for personal use – are sometimes sentenced to longer sentences than people involved with violence.
“I was never even registered to vote before that,” Adams says. “But the government’s involvement in the trucking industry had been in my mind.”
If this trucker wins political office, he will be in good company. U.S. Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell, R-Colo., keeps his commercial driver license up to date and was one of the two drivers who trucked the Millennium Christmas Tree to Washington, D.C. The late Cliff Long of Idaho Falls, Idaho, was a Bonneville County commissioner for 15 years and owned and operated an independent trucking business. Nevada Assemblyman Don Gustavson is a truck driver. Many other truckers have held office, and others are seeking election this year.
Adams hopes to use the office to bring casinos to Alabama and to develop “more reasonable” criminal sentencing guidelines. He also wants relief from taxes and regulations for truck drivers and carriers, and believes the state should require driver license applicants to watch a film about co-existing on the road with truckers.
“Some people say it won’t help,” he says. “I know it won’t hurt, and it might help just a little bit.”
Kellie Adams says she believes her husband would bring honesty to office and won’t try to broker deals to get others to support him.
“He’s basically saying, ‘I’ll do the best I can,'” she says.
The office sought by Kellie Adams appraises and collects taxes on all real and business personal property. She says she opposes property taxes.
“If it were up to me, I would get rid of them,” she says.
Kellie Adams faces incumbent Sarah G. Spear. Lyn Adams will compete against Republican Bill Armistead and Democrat Lucy Baxley.