Straw poll stroll

Rep. Robert Hurt (D-5th) walks Main Street in Washington last Wednesday with staff members as part of a district-wide trek.
Rep. Robert Hurt (D-5th) walks Main Street in Washington last Wednesday with staff members as part of a district-wide trek. Luke Christopher

As part of an ongoing effort this summer to walk all of the Main Streets in Virginia’s vast 5th Congressional District, Rep. Robert Hurt (R) spent an hour or so on Washington’s Main Street last Wednesday afternoon.

After stops at the Country Cafe, Wine and Chocolate, and R.H. Ballard Art, Rug and Home (but not at the Inn at Little Washington, which isn’t open for lunch), Hurt met briefly with the staff at the Rappahannock News, where he was asked what, in addition to the usual benefits of increased exercise, he was getting out of the project.

“I think it’s an important opportunity to get a view of how the smallest businesses are faring,” Hurt said. “A lot of the current regulation is well-intended, I don’t dispute that, but so often small businesses are the ones who have the . . . heaviest burden falling on them — whether it’s tax policy, or environmental regulations for farmers, or access to capital . . .”

The Main Street tour, Hurt said, which had taken him as of last week to Nelson, Fluvanna, Albemarle, Greene, Madison, Rappahannock and Fauquier counties and the city of Charlottesville, will continue until he’s walked the main thoroughfares of all 23 counties and cities across the 10,000-square-mile district, which stretches from the North Carolina line into Virginia’s Northern Piedmont.

By Luke Christopher
The congressman speaks to staff at the Rappahannock News. Luke Christopher

Hurt said he’s heard about the increasing burdens on Virginia families and businesses relating to the president’s healthcare law, as well as the Dodd-Frank Act — and growing skepticism over the Iran nuclear agreement.

“It’s also been a chance for me to be reminded of those lessons from Main Street that should be applied in Washington,” Hurt said, noting that one such lesson happens to coincide with a frequent refrain sung by the second-term congressman to his constituents: the importance of balancing budgets.

“Across the 5th District, I have met with families, small business owners, farmers and local government officials in our Main Street communities who understand that their success depends upon operating on a budget where they do not spend more than they take in,” he said.

1 Comment

  1. People often say that our leaders in government are “out of touch” with the average citizen that they represent, but that criticism cannot be directed at our Congressman, Robert Hurt. He visits Rappahannock on a regular basis to touch base with constituents, including his most recent visit on his Fifth District Main Street Tour. Clearly he values and appreciates the fact that he is accountable to the voters – the people whose views he is elected to represent – and owes it to us to obtain our perspective on the pressing issues facing our country. And he is constantly seeking out ways to make the government work more efficiently and effectively, minimizing unnecessary government overreach into our lives. To me, these are the right characteristics for a representative to display, and I commend Mr. Hurt for his efforts on our behalf.

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