Congressional Candidate Tom Garrett Gets Support from UVa Grassroots

The grassroots organization “UVa Students for Garrett” recently emerged on Grounds in support of Republican Tom Garrett’s campaign for Congress in Virginia’s 5th District. The group, started by First Year Tanner Hirschfeld, has been picking up traction in the community ahead of the November 8th election.

“We’re running a small campaign for Tom on grounds. It has all the aspects of his real campaign, but on a smaller scale for UVa students,” Hirschfeld states.

Garrett, a former Army officer, prosecutor, and state senator, recognizes the role that college interns play in the election process and embraces youth involvement.

Photo courtesy
Photo courtesy

“Washington has shown a lack of courage to do hard things. [They] kick the can down the road for future generations to deal with,” Garrett told WUVA News. “[We] need to solve old problems with new ideas…college students bring those new ideas.”

“UVa Students for Garrett” President Tanner Hirschfeld believes that this election “should matter [to UVa students] because it has an immediate effect on people in the fifth, and if we can keep the house stable with qualified people, that is a victory for Americans everywhere.”

The fifth district encompasses many colleges, including UVa, Hampden Sydney, Longwood, Liberty, Averett, Ferrum, and more. Almost every institution in the fifth has a student-run effort in support of Garrett. His opponent, Democrat Jane Dittmar, is launching campaign efforts in the area as well.

Regardless of political affiliation, this election is one that university students should be keeping a close eye on. One easy way to make a difference is by registering to vote in the fifth district. Some college students plan on voting absentee in their home district, but Tanner Hirschfeld has some advice for them.

“From this point forward, you are at UVa, you are making your home here. If you are looking to start your professional life [in Charlottesville], why not start now?”

Garrett and Dittmar will have an open debate in Danville, Virginia on October 27th in attempt to secure constituents’ votes. In the meantime, Garrett primarily wants UVa students to know that he is prepared to cooperate in pursuit of effective government: “I’m a Christian conservative, but I work across the aisle.”

Garrett was the co-patron of two medical marijuana bills, and strongly believes in implementing policies that “let people make decisions for themselves that will allow them to succeed and prosper.”

For more information on how you can volunteer with the Garrett campaign, visit or like UVa Students for Garrett on Facebook. To learn more about his opponent Jane Dittmar, visit


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