Humbled and Thankful

Tonight we had a fundraiser.  That’s not really news in the world of elections and politics, I know.  Some people think that it’s par for the course – people magically give you money.  But it is different in a local election – there aren’t giant special interests, or infusions of political party cash, or huge media efforts that support it.  In a race like mine family and friends and people you work with are the ones who donate, and it takes a lot of work.

In the three weeks since I began telling people that I would seek re-election as Richland County Treasurer, I’ve had 86 people commit to the 2018 primary campaign.  Tonight’s event was at the Law Office of Representative James Smith – who I hope will run for Governor in 2018.  More than 50 people came, and we raised more than $12,500.  Another $13,500 in commitments are still coming in.

I wish that I could explain how humbling it is to have such wonderful people invest in what I believe we can do to help Richland County grow.  This fundraising success is because of family, friends and associates who believe that what we’ve done to help people is only the beginning. 

Thank you for your support!  It is an honor to serve you, and I will do my best to make you proud.



Wow!  Another chance to debate was lost tonight as my opponent begged-out of answering any questions from the public about the Treasurer’s Office.  It has been a pattern on this campaign.  And though it has been discouraging, the remarks we’ve each made in public clearly show that there is only one candidate who knows what the Treasurer’s Office does and how the county operates.

I have always been ready for any question, and that is why I’ve been so involved in the community and in helping people in our office.  I’m proud that I’ve been available to the public in ways that no other elected official has – I believe that it’s the only way to help people … you’ve got to have the answers when people need you.

I am proud of what I’ve done as a taxpayer, community member, and as your Treasurer.  I love to tell the story of how our office is the most innovative in South Carolina, the most friendly and helpful in the state, how our office has never been an embarrassment to you but built your trust, and how we are going to partner with our community to become stronger in the future.

So, until next time, keep asking questions – I will answer you.



Momentum in politics is sometimes hard to see, but there is a growing understanding around the county about the importance of the Treasurer’s election on June 10.

That awareness is a good thing.  People are beginning to realize that handling your tax dollars isn’t about politics.  The Treasurer’s Office is the busiest office in the Midlands and the amount of money we work with every year (more than $700 million) rivals the size of many banks around South Carolina – being your Treasurer is a job, and a vital one.

The work we do pays our teachers and keeps the power on in our schools.  It keeps our emergency vehicles and police cars maintained and fueled up.  Our job funds the vital role that the county, cities and school districts in Richland County play in our community.

Through the last two weeks of forums and news stories (here, here, and here), those who weren’t paying attention … well, they’re paying attention now.  Those events and articles made it clear that there is only one candidate who knows what the Treasurer’s Office does, and what it can do to help our county as a partner in our growth, and as a helper when our people are in need.  The choice is clear, and people are taking notice.

Thanks to the hundreds of you who have caught me after community meetings and our face-to-face forums, or called and e-mailed me, to say you understand the vast differences in qualifications, history of achievement, and history of service between me and my opponent.

I feel the momentum growing because of you, your kind words, and your willingness to help me win on June 10th in the Democratic Primary – and that gives me energy as we get closer to Election Day.


My History of Service, Part II

I was asked in 2001 by then-Mayor Bob Coble if I was interested in running for County Treasurer – the last remaining Republican-held seat in Richland County.  By that time I’d worked for dozens of Democratic candidates since 1994 who I felt were qualified and had the integrity to help South Carolina’s citizens.  I’d thought about offering myself for an elected position before, but by 2001 my perspective had changed – even though I was barely 30 years old.

You see, prior to 2001 I’d thought of politics as a game to win or lose – a place where politicians notched their daily successes and glossed over their failures – in a way that may possibly reach a higher purpose down the road (but far too rarely).  In hindsight maybe that is some of what politics is. … But, in 1999 and 2000 things changed a great deal for me, and I wasn’t sure if running for office was the right fit.

In 1999, I went to work for one of South Carolina’s greatest public servants and our longest serving State Treasurer, Grady Patterson.  It was working for “the General” that my perspective changed, and I learned the responsibility and restraint that were required in creating and carrying out policies.  I was blessed to work on dozens of important issues there:

  • Moving SC investments into the stock market
  • Tobacco Securitization
  • Offering SC Mini-Bonds to Citizens
  • Finding citizen owners of more than $120 million in Unclaimed Funds held by SC
  • Overseeing and designing the State Treasurer’s College Savings Programs

It was with Gen. Patterson that I learned that handling the people’s money wasn’t a political game – it was a real job that required building the public’s trust.  I wasn’t sure if the political part of the game was something I wanted.

In 2000, I began dating my future wife, Pamela Deweese – now thankfully Pamela Adams – and I soon asked for her hand in marriage.  Like it is when you’ve met the right person, any other thoughts are far from your mind, including politics.

So, when Mayor Coble asked me if I was interested in running for the last Republican-held seat in Richland County, I’d found that public service could be used for the greater good without the games, but my mind wasn’t on running for office and I was unsure. (To be continued)


My History of Service, Part I

My grandmother was a devout Southern Baptist who hadn’t had a preacher in the family for some time when I was born in 1971.  I was her second grandchild, but the first born close to her home, and she prayed over me that I would become a preacher someday.  Instead, I grew up to have a different biblical job – I’m now your tax collector.

My father moved us to Columbia when I was 4 years old to take a job with the SC Department of Social Services to work on foster care and adoption for abused and neglected children.  He worked at SCDSS , for 33 years before retiring.  In our home, the most dire needs of our community were always as close as our dinner table.

After leaving The Citadel in 1994, I began to work for Democratic candidates who lived up to my family’s tradition of Christian public service for those who needed it most.  And, I’ve worked every day to bring that philosophy to the Richland County Treasurer’s Office. 

My philosophy is nothing more than this: do your job well, meet the needs of our community, and help everyone you can.

It sounds simple, but far too few elected officials spend time putting that philosophy into action – some are just too happy playing the political game.  I will spend the next few journal entries giving you more about my history, and how it has led us to this day, but I hope that you will look over this website to see that what our Treasurer’s Office does.  I think you’ll see that ours is the most effective, innovative and helpful Treasurer’s Office in South Carolina in helping citizens – and I hope you’ll vote for David Adams on June 10th.