Democratic candidate congressional forum draws audience

In the News / Oct 08 2017 / by Isabel Lawrence / CBS19 News

Democratic candidate congressional forum draws audience

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Three democrats running to unseat Fifth District Congressman Tom Garrett took part in a forum on Sunday to tell voters why they should be elected.

Citizens filled the seats at The Haven in Charlottesville to hear the three candidates speak.

The candidates were asked questions both by a moderator as well as citizens.

One issue they all emphasized was the importance of accessible health care.

"I absolutely believe to my core that as Americans we shouldn't be the only industrialized nation in the world that does not provide health care to each one of our citizens," said candidate Andrew Sneathern.

The candidates also talked about how these kinds of national issues affect members of their district specifically.

"The people in the Fifth District understand that health care is not an abstract issue,” said candidate Ben Cullop. “The people in the Fifth District who health care matters to, it's a single mom with two children. It's a 60-year-old woman who's trying to take care of her parents."

Health care also became an issue when discussing current Garrett.

"With health care, he actually voted to take health care away from 23 million people and admitted that he hadn't read the bill,” said candidate Leslie Cockburn. “Believe me, I would be reading the bill."

Another important issue was immigration policy.

"I'm a huge supporter of DACA and I believe that we're at our best in this country when we recognize the value of all of our citizens and all the people who contribute to the fabric of our community," said Sneathern.

In light of the Trump Presidency, Cullop felt that reform must happen.

"Donald Trump is completely wrong on DACA,” he said. “That’s a full stop, there's no way to put that. These students, these people who were brought here as children, represent the best in America, not the worst of America."

The primary to pick the Democratic candidate for the Fifth District will be held on June 12, 2018.


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