Vying for the Fourth district

Published 11:48 am Saturday, November 3, 2018


Ryan McAdams, a Republican, hopes to win from incumbent Donald McEachin the 4th District seat in the House of Representatives on Election Day.

The challenger, who said he’s never before had an ambition for political office, said that he was actually inspired by a dream to seek the position.

“God said run for office,” McAdams said during a local visit last month. That was a calling that he wrestled with, having to consider the personal cost to his life and that of his family. After Jade gave her support (“I wouldn’t do it without her,”) they asked their children, who also said yes to the idea.

While he has not held such a seat before, the candidate believes his life and work experiences will help serve. He’s been a crisis intervention specialist and full-time social worker, as well as a pastor.

Two years ago, McAdams served as a volunteer state director for the Virginia Prayer Caucus.

His campaign has been what he called “a listening tour” of meeting people throughout the district and hearing what they have to say about their needs. Rural areas such as Southampton County were a focus.

One of the concerns McAdams shares with his potential constituents is about veterans.

“I feel passionate about them,” said the candidate, adding he would like to see career development training made available for those in need of work after their service.

McAdams, who said he tried to have one-on-one debates with McEachin, questions the incumbent’s effectiveness.

“He hasn’t accomplished anything. He’s not present,” said the challenger. “Change is needed in the district, he added, and that includes “practical solutions to the people of the 4th.”


McEachin said during a phone interview that serving the district has been “an honor and a blessing,” and believes that he understands the needs of his constituents. Before seeking the office a couple of years ago, McEachin served in the Virginia General Assembly for a number of years.

“A wonderful opportunity opened up … I thought it would be a good opportunity to focus on public policy,” he said.

The incumbent believes he’s made accomplishments in his district, and cited four specific ones.

First, he co-introduced the House version of the bicameral Military Spouse Employment Act (H.R. 5125,) which he said aims to improve employment opportunities for current military spouses.

Second, he’s supported measures that would promote base resiliency in the face of climate change.

Third, when it comes to food deserts — places where access to food is limited — the congressman was the House co-lead of the Healthy Food Access for All Americans Act (H.R. 4260.)

Fourth, the congressman has been a co-sponsor of the Assistance, Quality and Affordability Act (H.R. 1071,) which aims to increase resources available through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund for water infrastructure improvements.

He’s confident about the election outcome: “I think we will take over the House. I appreciate the great confidence to be their representative these past two years. I ask for their continued support.”

McEachin also assured the 4th District that while he had been under the weather health-wise, the issues have not been life-threatening.