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On Hurt’s departure

The most shocking and surprising political news we reported in 2015 was the announcement by U.S. Rep. Robert Hurt, R-Chatham, who said he wouldn’t seek re-election to Congress after only five years of representing Virginia’s Fifth Congressional District.

While we think that Hurt could have been more bipartisan during his congressional tenure — rather than toeing the Republican Party line when voting and voicing his opinion on a vast majority of issues and in roll calls, and blasting the president and Democrats in his statements and speeches — he always looked out for the farmers, small business owners and our veterans, three very important constituencies to our community. And for that, we thank him.

“For the sake of our children and grandchildren, it is imperative that we put an end to this reckless government spending and change course once and for all,” Hurt said on his website in reference to federal spending.

We couldn’t agree with him more.

In November, Hurt voted in favor of the American Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act, which would effectively pause the admittance of Syrian and Iraqi refugees into the United States, which was discouraging to us.

While we’ve agreed and disagreed with Hurt on various issues, such as the ones mentioned, the Hampden-Sydney graduate has always been, in our opinion, an accessible legislator to his constituents.

Anytime we lose a strong voice for rural Virginia, it hurts us.

It’s our hope that whoever ends up filling the seat will be someone who knows rural Virginia and the important role that our communities play in the state and the country.