April 5, 2012
Congressman Robert Hurt (R-5th) and one of his potential Democratic challengers were in the area Thursday to get a head start on the campaign cycle for the November elections.
Hurt's district tour made a stop in Charlottesville as his road to re-election begins to come in to focus. While touring Snow's Garden Center in Albemarle County, the congressman said two of the biggest issues he will debate this election season are gas prices and small government.
"I think it has everything to do with the size and the scope of the government. It has everything to do with government spending," he explained. "And not only do [high gas prices] hurt people who have to fill up their tanks just to get to work, but of course you also hear from the business owners."
Hurt turned the center with its owner, Albemarle County Supervisors Duane Snow (R-Samuel Miller), saying energy independence is an issue he's been tackling for more than a year now in the House.
"We've had a really hard time with the folks down the hall in the Senate to get this a priority. Frankly, we've had a hard time getting the President to make this a priority," he said.
A few hours before Hurt's tour, potential Democratic Challenge Peyton Williams spoke at the Charlottesville-Albemarle Technical Education Center (CATEC). The Fifth District candidate says his campaign will focus on jobs and education.
"Partnerships between educational institutions and businesses are very important to our economic health," he said, speaking to supporters outside the school. "If we don't have the skilled workforce, we will not have the jobs and people employed."
Williams says Congressman Hurt hasn't done enough for local businesses, saying, "We need [small businesses]. They're part of the community. If we don't have them, we can't operate."
Williams' challenger for the Democratic nomination in the Fifth District, John Douglass, will be in Charlottesville on Monday for 7 p.m. a town hall meeting at City Space, off the Downtown Mall.