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Wittman re-election bid to make stop in Stafford


Rep. Rob Wittman, R–1st District, is planning the last  of three campaign kickoff events on Sunday.

Wittman’s event will be at 5 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Express on U.S. 17 in Stafford County. He previously held campaign kickoff events May 5 in Montross and May 12 Williamsburg/James City County.

He is seeking a third full term in the House of Representatives. Wittman was first elected in 2007 in a special election to replace the late Jo Ann Davis. Before that, he served in the House of Delegates and in local government in Westmoreland County.

Wittman said he thinks Congress’ ability to work toward solutions has improved during his time in office, but that there are still “a lot of things left to be done.”

Those include reducing the debt and deficit, a massive undertaking that Wittman said cannot rely on revenue increases alone.

He voted for the Paul Ryan budget, a plan Democrats say would decimate safety-net programs, because he said it’s a vehicle to have the discussion about cutting spending.

“There’s some things in there that I have concerns about, but overall it’s the right direction,” Wittman said. “It creates the conversation.  Budgets are only proposals.”

Wittman said programs such as Medicare and Social Security are important—his mother is on Medicare, he noted—but that they’re going to run out of money if lawmakers don’t make changes.

He also advocates tax reform—reducing exemptions and loopholes while also reducing tax rates for corporations and individuals—because he thinks that would help improve the economy and give more confidence to businesses that might be able to expand.

Wittman said he has focused, during his time in Congress, on helping small businesses, assisting veterans—especially with programs to help them transition to civilian work—fixing issues at Arlington National Cemetery, advocating telework incentives for his largely rural district and lowering taxes.

Wittman commutes from Washington to his home in Montross most nights, and said such constant contact with people in his district is helpful. He said he also has worked to encourage House leaders to stop putting off major debates, over issues such as debt limits and sequestration, which could lead to military spending cuts.

“We want to be working on these things now, so after the election the lame-duck Congress isn’t faced with such an insurmountable [problem] to deal with,” Wittman said. “I don’t want to be up against the sequester deadline before we talk about it.”

Wittman has been opposed in all of his congressional races. This year, his opponent is Democrat Adam Cook, a JAG officer and Air Force reservist who did a tour in Afghanistan last year.

Democrats formally nominated Cook last weekend at a convention in Fredericksburg.

Chelyen Davis:  804/343-2245