Democrat Matt Adams pushes education, public transit in final weeks of Hamilton County mayoral campaign

Staff Photo by Matt Hamilton / Mayoral candidate Matt Adams speaks during an interview at the Chattanooga Times Free Press office on Monday.

Matt Adams, the Democratic candidate for Hamilton County mayor, knows from his eight-year stretch in the U.S. Army that the best commanders are often the ones who listen.

"They're the ones who say, 'I'm at the head of the table, but each one of you at this table knows more than I do. Each one of you at this table are smarter in your subject matter area than I am, and if I try to make a decision without your input, then the mission has potential to fail,'" the 26-year-old paralegal told the Chattanooga Times Free Press in an hour-long interview Monday. "I'll be the first to say that if elected county mayor, that's how I want to lead."

Adams enlisted on active duty when he was 17, working in national security law as well as criminal prosecution and defense.