CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA- Today 5th District Democratic Nominee Jane Dittmar held a press conference outlining reasons as to why she deleted her social media accounts for nearly 12 hours just three weeks prior to the election.
In memos circulated to the press by her campaign, she specifically highlighted the reason behind her event was to “denounce Tom Garrett’s refusal to condemn hateful, violent, and crude campaign rhetoric.”
This comes just days after a GOP office was firebombed in North Carolina with graffiti telling “nazi Republicans” to “leave town or else” and in the midst of multiple incidents of vandalism to GOP signs in the 5th district.
To the surprise of everyone in attendance, 5th District Republican Nominee Tom Garrett showed up in a show of solidarity to condemn the use of threats and messages that distract from the debate on policy.
Upon conclusion of the rally, Garrett issued the following statement:
“To be clear, I wholly condemn threats of violence by supporters of either party. As someone who has been a public servant for over a decade, I have received death threats and have seen my share of rhetoric that has no place in public discourse. Every campaign receives its share of rude and obnoxious posts from people who disagree with candidates on a host of issues – but we do not encourage or perpetuate that.”
Garrett’s Chief of Staff in the General Assembly, Kevin Reynolds, echoed that sentiment by saying, “It is every American’s right to register their support or opposition but there is no place to use foul or threatening language. We disagree with our opponent on a host of issues but we encourage everyone on both sides of the aisle to conduct themselves civilly.”
The event took place at the Free Speech Wall on the downtown mall in Charlottesville, Virginia and was attended by roughly 30 local citizens.