Back in December, I had long conversations with the two Democrats running for the 5th Congressional District seat currently held by Rep. Robert Hurt, who is retiring after his term (mercifully) ends in November. I was impressed with both Ericke Cage and Jane Dittmar and thought that either would make a potentially strong Democratic nominee against whatever far right winger the Republicans end up nominating (e.g., the Dick Black-endorsed Tom Garrett; – loonytunes, in other words).
Now, with former Tom Perriello staffer Ericke Cage’s announcement that he’s withdrawing from the race (see below, after the “flip”), it appears that Jane Dittmar — immediate past Chair of the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors and representative of the Scottsville District — will be the Democratic nominee in the 5th CD this year. I wish her the best of luck and look forward to doing what I can to help her win this race!
South Boston, Virginia – Ericke Cage, a candidate for the 2016 Democratic nomination for Congress in
VA-05 released the following statement:
Today, I am suspending my campaign for Congress from Virginia’s 5th District—bringing to an end a ten-month journey for the common good and a decade of public service which began as a classroom teacher in Halifax County and included work on behalf of the 5th District in Congress.
Over these past many months we have accomplished a great deal together: traveling thousands of miles to connect our message with hardworking Virginians in a district larger than Vermont and building a strong network of enthusiastic grassroots supporters that spanned from Nelson, Fluvanna, and Franklin counties
and throughout the many diverse communities of Southside. Along the way we also assembled a dedicated team and ever growing network of volunteers.
Our accomplishments are impressive, but the tough truth is that in the era of Citizen’s United, it takes a ton of money to run a successful political campaign. Despite receiving strong support from small donors and having recently secured an exciting partnership with Leadership for Educational Equity (LEE) to bring our campaign to the national stage, we have fallen short in our ongoing efforts to capture the attention and financial support of high dollar donors – support that is critical to ensuring that our campaign had the necessary resources to successfully secure the Democratic nomination and win the general election. Consequently, I believe that leaving the race now is in the best interest of the party and the eventual Democratic nominee – and encourage each of you to remain active participants in this election because the stakes are simply too high to sit on the sidelines.
Although this campaign has come to an end, our work will continue. I still believe that every child regardless of zip code deserves a rigorous high quality education; that every individual deserves equal footing in the eyes of the law; and that every rural community deserves a fighting chance at economic
prosperity. Looking forward, the work we started here will continue through Virginia’s Promise, a bipartisan political action committee that will support commonsense common good candidates and causes that work to address the unique needs of rural America.
I have learned a great deal over the last ten months. Perhaps the most important lesson learned is that actions always speak louder than words. To every contributor, supporter, and staff member of this campaign I say thank you for stepping up, following through, and standing with me in this incredible