Touting his background growing up on a farm and as an attorney, Andrew Sneathern threw his cap into the 2018 5th District congressional race today before dozens of supporters at Champion Brewery.
Sneathern, 46, plans to tap into the “unbelievable wealth of power coming from the Democratic party now, something I’ve never seen before,” he says.
A former assistant prosecutor for Albemarle County who now has a private practice, the Missouri-raised attorney says he understands the problems of rural residents in the 5th District from his own family’s experience farming 2,700 acres, which took eight people to run when he was a kid and now three people work it.
“Those jobs are not coming back,” he says, “and anyone who tells you they are, either doesn’t understand or is flat-out lying.”
A Dem has not won the 5th since Tom Perriello snagged one term in 2008 and it was “gerrymandered to keep a Democrat from winning again,” says Sneathern. “I’m strangely fitted for the 5th.”
Sneathern noted the “fear and mistrust” coming from the election of Donald Trump, and says he has the endorsement of Trump antagonist Khizr Khan. “We are a better country, a better commonwealth when we recognize we are more alike than different,” he says.
Referring to local patriots from the Revolutionary War era and casting 2018 as an epic election year, Sneathern says when his future grandchildren ask, “When it was your time, what did you do?” he wants to look back and say, “We all stood up together.”
Charlottesvillians Roger Dean Huffstetler and Adam Slate say they’re running in 2018 as well. Republican Congressman Tom Garrett, who just took office in January, has not announced whether he’ll seek another term.
Updated 6/2/17 to add candidate Roger Dean Huffstetler.