For Democratic Board of Commissioners candidate Adam Long, the journey into the political realm has been cultivated from a fusion of passions.
A Lincoln County native, he graduated from Lincolnton High School in 1988.
“I’ve traveled extensively and have a pretty good worldview, but as far as where I’ve lived, I’ve maintained a residence here my whole life,” Long said.
“I’ve always had a passion for both music and movies, so at that point, I decided that maybe the quickest way into the industry would be going to Gaston College,” Long said. “So, I went to Gaston College, and at that time, they offered an Associate’s Degree in Radio Broadcasting.”
After receiving his degree in Radio Broadcasting, Long interned at several media outlets, such as WCNC, 104.7 FM and 99.7 FM.
“I wound up with a few internships here and there, but nothing really took off and led me down a career path,” he said.
After finishing his internships, Long began working at Circuit City, starting out on the sales floor and working his way up the career ladder to the delivery sector.
“That led me to a five-year stint working at Best Buy as a delivery driver trainer,” he said. “Basically, the company is set up where each state has their own trainer, so if you want to drive a vehicle for the company, you have to travel to where the company designates you to go.”
After the position was eliminated in 2003, Long left Best Buy and began working at the Timken Company in its Logistics Department.
“Right now, I work in logistics, which involves the shipping and receiving — things of that nature,” he explained.
While his work at Timken takes up a significant portion of Long’s work life, he has found time to pursue his passions for film and music, working as a film critic for the Focus Newspaper out of Hickory since 2010 and running a small word-of-mouth DJ business for local weddings and events. He is also the co-host of “Cinema Scene,” a radio show based out of Garner-Webb University.
“I work with the Director of Media Relations and do a radio show that’s broadcast both over the airwaves and over the internet,” Long said. “We cover movie news, movie reviews, video release news — pretty much anything related to movies.”
While some may find the worlds of politics and art vastly different, Long feels the two are quite intertwined.
“If you’re very interested in the arts, especially film, music and things of that nature, I think politics goes hand in hand,” he said. “A lot of great artists are politically minded, and a lot of the artists that I admire definitely have a political bend. I first became politically aware, I guess you could say, when I was 25 or 26 years old. Up until that point, I voted, but I was kind of voting based on my family’s political tendencies rather than my own.”
Long attributes the dawn of his political awakening to radio show host Jerry Klein.
“He woke me up, basically,” he said. “I realized what he was articulating was exactly the way I felt. And I became very politically minded at that point.”
However, until recently, Long’s work schedule prevented him from running for election.
“I’ve always wanted to run for office, but my job situation has been to the point where I really couldn’t commit…I was working several 12-hour overnight shifts a week for Timken, and while I had several nights off, it wasn’t enough to where I felt I could put my energy into it,” he explained. “This year, my work schedule changed, and that’s why I got into it and decided to go ahead and give it a try.”
According to Long, he is like most Democratic candidates, putting people’s rights as the top priority rather than property rights.
“Making decisions based on property rights…that’s fine, as long as the people’s rights are not trumped as a way to get to those kinds of decisions,” he said. “I think we need to think about what’s best for people first and what’s best for the citizens of the county as opposed to what’s going to do good financial work for us.”
Long also believes county officials need to reevaluate the impact their day-to-day decisions has on the average citizen.
“I feel like a lot of the decisions that are made are based on the more affluent parts of our county,” he said. “Our county is very diverse. There are affluent parts, and there are less affluent parts. And I feel like sometimes, those areas of the county that don’t really have a lot of money tend to get the short shrift of things…I feel like sometimes there’s just not a voice that’s being heard for the people who have less of a financial stake in things, and I would like to be that voice.
“My jobs have entailed me meeting a lot of different people along the pathway of life,” he continued. “When I was in the home delivery business, obviously you’re meeting a new character at every appointment, and a lot of the area I took care of was the Lincoln County area. Working at Timken, I’ve met a lot of people that live in the county as well.”
Long’s investment in the county also extends to serving the local community through volunteering at Christian Ministries, working as a coordinator for Meals on Wheels and serving on his church’s council.
“I feel like I know the people, and I feel like I’m qualified based on the fact that I have a sense of people’s needs and what’s best for the people, and that I care about people above all else,” he said. “I’d like to give back to the citizens of the county, and this is an opportunity that I would relish to do so.”