Sneathern visits area

Published 10:30 am Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Andrew Sneathern, who is running for Congressman in the 5th Congressional District, discussed his policies regarding economic growth, education and environmental concerns during an event at a home in Keysville.

The 5th Congressional District seat is currently held by Congressman Tom Garrett.

Sneathern said he was raised on a farm in Missouri in a town of approximately 3,000 people.

He said as a teenager, financial strains and a divorce led to both Sneathern and his mother working outside the farm.

“They had an auction to sell everything we had,” Sneathern said. “I went to work to help try to feed my sisters. You do not survive something like that without understanding what’s at stake in our country, particularly in our rural parts of our country, and I think the Democratic Party has done an abysmal job of talking to them the last four years.”

He said the election of President Donald Trump and policies from Congressman Tom Garrett prompted him to seek office, with the intent of representing issues important to those in rural areas.

“The way I look at this is that Tom Garrett has forgotten that all of us exist,” Sneathern said.

He said Linda Perriello, the mother of Tom Perriello, who served as Congressman from July 2015 to Dec. 2016, endorsed him for office.

He said he has been described as an unusual Democratic candidate with experience as a special prosecutor for cases relating to domestic violence and sexual assault and with the Department of Agriculture and Civil Rights division.

“When you look at a district like this, you don’t just win with Charlottesville and Albemarle,” Sneathern said.

He said his policies would focus on job creation, particularly in the fields of clean energy and maintaining and improving health care coverage.

“China is investing trillions of dollars in green energy and technology and environmental research, battery storage technology and wind and solar,” Sneathern said. “Not because they care about (Carbon Dioxide) CO2 levels, but because they know that those are the jobs of the future, that’s going to drive their economy and the world economy, and if we don’t step up and take advantage of that, we’re going to get left behind.”

“We have got to incentivize the behaviors that we want to see,” Sneathern said about job creation through clean energy industries and education in trades, “and the behaviors that I want to see is reinvestments in places that have suffered dramatic job losses.”

Regarding high expenses relating to hospitalization and health care, Sneathern said, “we are the only party talking about (how) that is not acceptable.”

“When any member of our community is suffering, every single one of us are diminished by their suffering. I refuse to accept the selfish ideology that teaches that when you help someone else up, you are diminished by it.”