Dittmar and Garrett clash for seventh time in Greene County

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GREENE COUNTY, Va. (NEWSPLEX) -- On Tuesday evening, William Monroe High School's auditorium filled with locals as they watched the seventh debate between the two candidates for Virginia's Fifth Congressional District.

Democrat Jane Dittmar and Republican Tom Garrett talked about a variety of local and national topics. One topic was about the minimum wage, and whether or not they would want to see a raise in the minimum wage.

Dittmar says she would want to see it increase.

"Right now, the current minimum wage does not provide a livable wage for people. We have to tie it to a higher cost of living like we do for other programs," she said.

Garrett said that he wouldn't want to see the minimum wage rise, and said that it would make more sense to provide tax breaks or increases to a person's wage.

"When we treat the 16-year-old who is working so that they can earn money to buy PlayStation games the same way as the 28-year-old single mother who is working to support a family, we make a mistake," said Garrett.

Both candidates said they are focused on creating jobs in the Fifth District, but have very different ways of doing it.

"We'd look to restructure corporate taxes so that it understands we don't exist in a vacuum, we compete in a globe," said Garrett.

"We have a digital deficit that is hurting and holding back our economies. We need to invest in high speed internet infrastructure, or reliable cell service," said Dittmar.

Another topic was guns and gun violence, and whether or not the candidates were supporters of the Second Amendment.

Dittmar said that she would want to see more security parameters put in place for people trying to buy guns.

"A vast majority of Americans, and actually about 70 percent of NRA members support universal background checks. I am fully in favor of that," she said.

Garrett said he would be in favor of seeing some changes with the "no fly, no buy" legislation, but in general believes that guns aren't the problem.

"Homicides and suicides aren't caused by gun use they're caused by people. That's like saying home construction is caused by a hammer," he said.

The two candidates will meet one last time in Danville on Oct. 27 at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research.

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