VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — From the projects of Salisbury, Maryland, to a Navy career on 11 different ships, Kevin Adams says he knows about the problems families face. The father of nine who retired as a lieutenant commander now runs a construction and remodeling business.

Adams wants to become the latest Republican to be elected to Virginia’s 7th District in the State Senate. Next week’s special election became necessary when incumbent Jen Kiggans (R) was elected in November to replace Elaine Luria (D) in the House of Representatives.

The district map includes a little of Norfolk and a lot of Virginia Beach — and Adams says crime is the biggest challenge.

“It is imperative that we fund our police and make sure that they have the resources to combat crime,” Adams said in a recent interview with WAVY-TV, and added that he sees a connection between crime and the local economy.

“Without having safe communities, we’re not gonna have businesses that are gonna come here and want to do business here, and that’s gonna tank our economy.”

Adams considers himself a law and order, tough on crime candidate, but he says we already have enough gun laws in place. “I think what we need is to enforce those laws. Straw man gun purchases and whatnot, those individuals also need to be processed.”

Adams retired from the Navy as a lieutenant commander, but began in the enlisted ranks, and says only one-half of one percent of enlisted people become officers.

“I’m proud to have served in just about every armed conflict from Operation Urgent Fury in Grenada to Operation Enduring Freedom,” and added he served aboard 11 ships in his 26-year career, including USS Shreveport.

He’s endorsed by Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R), and falls in line with Youngkin on women’s reproductive rights and abortions. Adams says he is pro-life with exceptions.

“I agree with the governor’s 15-week proposal (for banning abortions after that stage in a pregnancy). I think it’s reasonable with exceptions – exceptions of rape, incest and the health of the mother. Rape and incest, those are hideous crimes.”

The special election is set for Tuesday, January 10, with early voting in Virginia Beach and Norfolk until Saturday, January 7.

On Wednesday, we will profile Adams’ opponent in the special election, Virginia Beach Councilman Aaron Rouse (D).