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Congressman Garrett Met with Angry Constituents at Ribbon Cutting

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Congressman Tom Garrett Congressman Tom Garrett
Tom Garrett speaking at the ribbon cutting Tom Garrett speaking at the ribbon cutting
Frustrated constituents met Garrett at the event Frustrated constituents met Garrett at the event
Constituents say Garrett is never in Charlottesville Constituents say Garrett is never in Charlottesville
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

Congressman Tom Garrett spoke with central Virginia business owners on Friday, January 26, and attended the Hillsdale Drive ribbon cutting.

He was met by many people who say he doesn't make himself available to his constituents.

Congressman Garrett spoke with media earlier in the day and says he's in the Charlottesville-Albemarle area relatively frequently - stating he's had "40 public appearances" in the past year. However, a group of protesters say otherwise.

The congressman arrived at the Hillsdale Drive Extension ribbon cutting, and was met by protestors blocking his path and confronting him with questions.

People were saying things like "you're never in Charlottesville" and "you let a Nazi in your office," referring to his meeting with the leader of the Unite the Right rally, Jason Kessler, in March of 2017.

“There's just very little opportunity to speak to our congressional representative, so we just basically try and show up when we can hear about events that he's gonna be at,” says Kat Maybury of Indivisible Charlottesville.

Garrett attempted to answer some of the people's questions, but then proceeded to the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Protestors continued to shout about healthcare and taxes as Garrett tried to speak during the ceremony.

“We're here relatively frequently,” says Garrett. “I think we've had about 40 public appearances. I'm carrying a freaking protective vest around because I've been told that if I'm going somewhere, based on the nature of the threats that we've received, and the fact that there's currently an ongoing investigation and subsequent prosecution, not just of threats against me but of my family."

There was a high police presence, including both Charlottesville and state police, at the event.

Garrett also met with business owners later in the day, and says that his goal for this trip was to listen to the people who create jobs.