There is one less Republican candidate hoping to replace Robert Hurt in Congress. Andrew Griffin announced today he is dropping out of the race. Griffin is a former Congressional staffer from Lynchburg, now throwing his support to State Senator Tom Garrett. Three other Republicans are also in the running for 5th District seat. The nominee will be chosen at a May convention.
(Continue reading for the full Griffin statement.)
Lynchburg, VA – It is after careful consideration that I have determined that the people of Virginia’s 5th Congressional district are better served by me in other capacities as opposed to a candidate at this time. I entered this race as a principled conservative who has been frustrated with both the political process as well as the GOP. The Republican Party of 30 years ago has been watered down and we have gradually lost our identity. Where we were once the party of fiscal restraint, we are now contributing to a catastrophic deficit; where we were once inclusive of all genders, races, and ages, we are now labeled as out of touch with evolving demographics; where we were once the party of ideas, we are now subjected to following the lead of the left on issues ranging from healthcare to immigration, and even the right to life.
My love of God, country, and Virginia compelled me to enter this race. But after falling short of my goals for both delegate recruitment and fundraising, I have concluded that I do not have the necessary infrastructure in place to maintain a competitive campaign. Just weeks ago I voiced my frustration with both Dr. Carson and Governor Kasich for proving to be nothing more than a distraction from the eventual Presidential nominee. I would be remiss to then follow in their footsteps by staying in this race any further as a matter of personal pride with no path to victory. Therefore, I have decided to suspend my campaign to allow the full attention of our voters to focus on the remaining candidates who have a viable path to the nomination.
Initially my greatest concern was having this seat fall to a Democrat or propping up another Republican who would merely go along to get along in Washington. After a couple months of engaging directly with each of our Republican candidates, I can assure you that our nominee will be a strong voice in Washington. Currently in the fold we have a man of humble beginnings who has built an extremely successful business; another candidate is a Veteran with experience as an intelligence advisor at the Congressional level; and we have a man who brings national security credentials and a firm understanding of international threats that few Representatives in Congress possess. I believe that any of these men would serve with great distinction on behalf of Virginia. However, one voice stands above the rest as a man who has consistently proven himself to be a man of courage and conviction. For this reason, it is without hesitation that I endorse Senator Tom Garrett for this position. He is a proven public servant that has earned our trust in Richmond and will continue to do so in Washington.
My support of Senator Garrett hinges on several key issues. It was Winston Churchill who said, “You have enemies, good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.” Senator Garrett has remained steadfast in standing for conservative principles, even making enemies within his own party to do so. The ouster of Speaker Boehner in 2015 is indicative of the peoples’ desire to push back on moderate and questionable legislative agendas from political leadership – and Senator Garrett has done just that since his first day in the Virginia Senate. Furthermore, his military experience, success as a state prosecutor, and entire career of public service demonstrates a humility and desire to serve that this country needs. I am confident in his character, desire to fight for his constituents and ability to achieve meaningful change in a broken system.
I would like to thank everyone who has helped and supported me along the way. Running for office comes with many challenges and it has been an amazing experience. I commend Chairman Lynn Tucker and officials from each of the counties who are working tirelessly to provide opportunities for as much interaction between the candidates and the voters as possible. I look forward to helping the eventual nominee and the party in whatever capacity they may need in the quest to march onto victory come November.
– Andrew Griffin