1 Garrett at debate - Daily Progress

This Weeks Debate

This week I had the opportunity to square off against my opponent in our first general election debate. It was hosted by the Senior Statesmen of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia on Wednesday and left standing room only with a crowd of over 200 people.

At the forum’s conclusion, there was no mistaking that there is a stark difference between myself and Jane: I offer better jobs, and Jane offers better internet funding .

Sparring Over Jobs

As I shared ideas and legislation that would create jobs and spur economic growth, Jane Dittmar kept reverting back to her key issue of taxpayer-funded internet infrastructure. When questioned on whether or not taxpayer funds would be used for this, she said, “It’s not tax dollars. It’s your money parked in funds,” thereby proving revenue would come via tax dollars.

One of the more controversial exchanges erupted over Deschutes Brewery opening in Roanoke after Jane Dittmar failed to secure their business during her tenure as Chairman of the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors. I also noted when we had the same opportunity, we brought several breweries to our district which brought in revenue and countless jobs to Virginia’s 22nd Senatorial District.

It is also vital to understand the regulatory climate has become so burdensome for small businesses that in the case of companies such as Lane Furniture, outsourcing component parts to Mexico or Canada to comply with federal regulations destroyed profit margins forcing them to close their doors after nearly 100 years in business.

To see more from this week’s forum where economic ideas were presented including hemp growth, deregulation and capitalizing on emerging opportunities, please click here .

Disagreements on Our Exhausted Entitlement Programs

When asked about reforming entitlement programs, Dittmar stuck to platitudes of ‘working across the aisle to find solutions,’ while expressing her support of expanding an already bloated medicaid budget, among other things. I challenged her by answering the question and offered my plan of “Student Security” (please see 10 minutes, 20 seconds in).

Specifically, I said, “Social Security’s viability is up for debate so what we have proposed is a program that will ensure that everyone who has earned their right to a retirement check will have nothing to worry about. The plan will also alleviate the student loan crisis and debt for young people who are putting off getting married, taking out mortgage loans, or buying cars.”

The full proposal can be seen here .


As a veteran of the United States Army and someone who has continued to work to improve care for our veterans, I think the failures of the VA and the Obama administration to care for those who have worn the nation’s uniform should be resolved immediately. In this debate, I stated that, “I believe we should have an overlay with the VA and existing hospital facilities because the cost of redundancy in healthcare drives prices through the roof.” These are the kinds of solutions our representatives should be fighting for in Washington.

Please see video 2 minutes, 20 seconds in to hear my comments on fixing our broken Veterans Administration system.

To view the full debate

Please click here. Please note, the debate is broken down into 6 parts.