State Sen. Robert Hurt (R-Pittsylvania) has filed paperwork to launch a bid to unseat freshman Rep. Tom Perriello (D-5th).
Hurt made the announcement in a statement released Wednesday.
He said the decision comes after months of meetings with constituents and party leaders.
“I have come away from these meetings struck by the urgent sense among our people that if the current course of this great country is not quickly changed, we will soon be left with a nation of more government, more taxes, fewer jobs, and even fewer liberties,” he stated.
Hurt said he will support small businesses and will fight against tax hikes.
He said he plans to hold off on an official campaign kick-off event until after November’s statewide elections.
Republicans have spent months nudging Hurt to run. Many GOP activists say he’s the party’s best shot at reclaiming the Fifth District seat previously held by Republican Virgil Goode, who last year lost to Perriello by 727 votes.
“Senator Hurt’s candidacy is excellent news for the legions of central and Southside Virginians who’ve grown tired of having a congressman who holds their values in contempt,” said Andy Sere, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee. “Tom Perriello has proven time and time again that his brand of Ivy-bred liberal elitism is categorically out-of-step with his constituents, and that’s why he’s drawn such a formidable challenger.”
Hurt, an attorney, was elected to the Virginia Senate in 2007. Prior to that, he served six years in the House of Delegates.