Garrett wins Republican nod

Published 1:25 pm Tuesday, May 17, 2016

State Sen. Tom Garrett, a Buckingham Republican, is his party’s nominee in the Fifth Congressional District race.

Garrett received the party’s nod Saturday during a convention in Nelson County, besting opponents Michael Del Rosso, Joe Whited and Jim McKelvey.

Garrett will face Democrat Jane Dittmar, of Albemarle, in November. Dittmar received the Democratic nomination with no opposition recently.

“I’m honored and grateful,” said Garrett, who represents a large portion of Central Virginia in the Virginia Senate — including Buckingham, Prince Edward and Cumberland.

He said it was “almost incomprehensible” to think he could succeed James Madison, who once held the congressional seat.

If Garrett defeats Dittmar in November, his win would leave an open Senate seat for the 22nd District.

U.S. Rep. Robert Hurt said in December that he wouldn’t seek re-election to another term in the House of Representatives.

Garrett said that immigration and national security are issues that he’ll focus on during his campaign.

He said that greater economic opportunity is needed in the district, especially in the southern portion.

“We’ve been hit hard,” he said of the loss of jobs in Southside Virginia over the last decade or more.

“We think that less government is the answer,” Garrett said, adding that he’d like to see the rollback of some regulatory actions that limit property owners and farmers.

He added that the United States needs to make sure trade agreements benefit America, not other nations.

During his congressional campaign, Garrett said he’d offer “outside the box thinking” on Social Security, college loan debt and economic opportunities.

“We do have campaign events planned over the next couple weeks,” he said. “We’re looking at where to put offices.”

He said there’s a tentative plan to open a Farmville campaign office.

Garrett said more than 1,100 people, including over 800 delegates, attended the convention on Saturday.