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New Member: Republican Tom Garrett Elected in Virginia’s 5th District

Incumbent GOP Rep. Robert Hurt did not seek re-election

(Photo courtesy Tom Garrett)
(Photo courtesy Tom Garrett)

Republican Tom Garrett will defeat Democrat Jane Dittmar in Virginia’s 5th District, The Associated Press projects.

Garrett led Dittmar, 60 percent to 40 percent with 65 percent of precincts reporting.

[Election Results 2016]

Virginia’s 5th District stretches from Northern Virginia to the North Carolina border. Its main population centers are Danville, a blue-collar industrial city on the North Carolina border, and Charlottesville, a historic college town in the heart of central Virginia. The district boundaries did not change in the commonwealth’s recent round of court-mandated redistricting this year. 

Coming into Election Day, the race was rated Republican Favored by The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call. The seat looked more vulnerable when Hillary Clinton started to extend a considerable lead over Donald Trump. But as the presidential race tightened in the final days, it hurt Dittmar’s chances for an upset.

The seat opened with the retirement of three-term GOP Rep. Robert Hurt, who after a close first victory in 2010, had no trouble with his two subsequent re-election races. 

[Could Trump Help Turn an Open Virginia Seat Blue?]

Garrett is a staunch conservative with a small government philosophy and he comes to Washington ready to promote pro-business policies. He says his main goal in Congress will be to “help people across the Potomac” in his rural Virginia district.

He earned his law degree after serving in the Army and became a prosecutor, first as a Virginia assistant attorney general and then as the elected Louisa County Commonwealth’s Attorney. He was elected to the Virginia Senate in 2011.

He says his main focus in Washington will be targeting federal regulations that he believes have driven jobs out of small towns across the country.

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