Ben Cullop, an Albemarle resident and University alumnus, announced his candidacy for Virginia’s Fifth District Congressional seat last week. Cullop but only recently made the formal announcement of his candidacy.
“This is the time where we’re going to start really kicking things up a notch and making sure that we’re putting the campaign in the best possible position as we go through the nominating process and into the general election,” campaign manager Jeff Allen said.
Allen said some of the issues Cullop wants to address are access to healthcare and job opportunities for the Fifth District.
“Right now there are a lot of folks sitting around their kitchen tables worried about things like mortgage payments, worried about how long they're going to be able to keep their job,” Allen said.
A press release said Cullop wants to do better in the areas where he thinks current Rep. Tom Garrett (R-Va.) is lacking.
“Folks here feel [sic] are being left behind while Tom Garrett plays politics in Washington,” Cullop said in the release. “It doesn’t have to be this way. I’ll use my leadership experience to get results in Congress and ensure every Virginian has the same chance to succeed that I did, no matter their race, gender or creed.”
Cullop also said he wants to address the affordability and accessibility of higher education.
“One of the things I am concerned about is the fact that student debt is higher than credit card debt in America and with wages stagnant, higher education has become a burden for too many families,” Cullop said in an email to The Cavalier Daily. “In Washington, I want to make sure we're looking for ways to make college accessible to any student who wants to attend.”
Cullop graduated from the College in 2005 and received an MBA from Darden in 2011. He currently works as an investment associate for Manchester Capital Management, and also serves on the U.Va. Children’s Hospital advisory board, the Albemarle County Police Foundation Board and the Charlottesville Retirement Commission.
Cullop joins four other Democrats who have announced their candidacy for the Fifth District's Congressional seat. Leslie Cockburn, , are also running. Huffstetler, Sneathern and Slate are all residents of Charlottesville.
“The whole goal of this campaign is to be able to give voice to those concerns and really make sure that every Virginia does have an opportunity to succeed,” Allen said.
Garrett’s office did not respond to a request for comment.
The Fifth District election is on Nov. 6, 2018.