The November election is eight months away, but that's not slowing down the candidates challenging Congressman Robert Hurt. The campaign trail has two Democrats seeking the party's nomination.
Two years ago, eyes across the country were on the 5th District, watching to see where the district would swing. Peyton Williams and General John Douglass, the two candidates vying to go up against freshman Robert Hurt, aren't wasting any time as we head into the stumping season.
Campaigning for congress, Williams stopped by Charlottesville to spread his platform and shake some hands. He also gave city Democrats his thoughts on the man now in office for the 5th District. "He [Hurt] and his compatriots in the congress have just been saying no to everything, and in saying no, they haven't allowed us to move forward," said Williams.
However, Hurt and those who helped vote him into Congress say he's done plenty for the 5th District. 5th District GOP representative to the Republican Party of Virginia State Central Committee Rachel Schoenwald said, "Robert is a very thoughtful legislator. He spends a lot of time thinking about the issues. He spends a lot of time talking to the people of his district."
If past elections are any indication, analysts say this race is bound to be a close one. Larry Sabato, with the University of Virginia Center for Politics said, "At this point, probably Hurt is fairly confident. But given the fact that the fifth has turned over twice in two elections, I don't think any incumbent could be overly confident."
Hurt's backers argue even one year of experience gives their candidate an advantage over political rivals. "I think that even though he's somewhat new to Washington, every year you're there gives you a little bit of a foot hole in understanding the players and understanding how Washington works," said Schoenwald.
Though Williams isn't the only nominee fighting for a spot on the ballot, in his eyes, politics have to shake up come November. "We have to reelect the president, we have to elect Tim Kaine, and we have to replace Robert Hurt," stated Williams. The Democratic primary for the commonwealth is on June 12. Then it's full force toward election day November 6.
All Eyes on the Fifth District Congressional RaceMore>>
Dannika Lewis joined the NBC29 news team as a general assignment reporter in June 2010. She started her ventures in broadcast news at Elon University where she graduated with a bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism. Email/Follow on Twitter/ Full Story