CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – A recent article by Charlottesville Tomorrow highlighted the dire economic issues in Albemarle County.


Specifically, it stated that Albemarle County has the lowest labor force participation rate of any of its peer counties. Further, the report showed that Albemarle County has the highest cost of living in comparison to it’s neighboring counties.


5th District GOP nominee Tom Garrett stated, “Albemarle is one of many counties in our district that is long overdue for economic growth. My opponent has stated numerous times that her priority is getting people back to work. However, her performance on the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors drove the local economy in the opposite direction.”


One of the major issues lingering in the next Congress will be trade deals such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Similar deals including NAFTA have cost tens of thousands of jobs in the 5th district over the years. Senator Garrett said that, “while I am a proponent of free trade, too many trade deals put other nation’s interests ahead of our own, which has been detrimental to the American workforce.”


Specifically, Garrett cited Lane Furniture in Altavista by saying: “Lane closed their doors after nearly 100 years in business, not because of wage issues, but overregulation by the EPA and similar federal agencies that force small businesses to outsource work. To meet federal regulatory demands, Lane was forced to bring in component parts from Mexico and Canada which destroyed profit margins.”


Virginia Senator Frank Ruff, who represents a significant portion of the 5th district in the General Assembly, praised Senator Garrett’s work on SB637, and other job creating initiatives. “As the only co-patron of this legislation in the Virginia Senate, Tom was instrumental in providing a framework to disseminate information on emerging industries throughout Virginia. This advisory committee is vital to ensuring that our high schools and community colleges are aware of the gaps in the current market. This will allow schools to give our students the skills they need to find employment right here at home,” said Ruff.


Dittmar faces Virginia State Senator Tom Garrett for Virginia’s Fifth Congressional District seat in November.