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Tom Garrett (Virginia politician)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tom Garrett
Tom Garrett official congressional photo.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 5th district
In office
January 3, 2017 – January 3, 2019
Preceded byRobert Hurt
Succeeded byDenver Riggleman
Member of the Virginia Senate
from the 22nd district
In office
January 11, 2012 – January 3, 2017
Preceded byRalph K. Smith
Succeeded byMark Peake
Commonwealth Attorney of
Louisa County, Virginia
In office
Personal details
Thomas Alexander Garrett Jr.

(1972-03-27) March 27, 1972 (age 50)
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Dana Garrett (1998–2009)
Flanna Garrett (2016–present)
Children3 daughters
EducationUniversity of Richmond
(BA, JD)
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Army
Years of service1995–2000
US-O3 insignia.svg
Unit214th Fires Brigade

Thomas Alexander Garrett Jr. (born March 27, 1972) is an American politician and attorney. He served one term in the United States House of Representatives for Virginia's 5th congressional district. A Republican, Garrett formerly represented the 22nd district in the Virginia Senate.[2]

Early life and education

Thomas Garrett was born in Atlanta, Georgia, to Thomas Alexander Garrett Sr. and his wife, Lois. Garrett is a graduate of Louisa County High School and earned his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Richmond.[3]


Garrett served for six years in the United States Army, where he was a Field Artillery officer.[4][5]

Commonwealth's attorney

Garrett served as an Assistant Attorney General under Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell. In 2007, he was elected Commonwealth's Attorney for Louisa County.

State Senate

After the General Assembly redistricted the State Senate as required by the Virginia Constitution in 2011, Garrett decided to run for an open seat. The 22nd District was open due to the incumbent Republican Ralph K. Smith's home in Roanoke being drawn into another district.

In the Republican primary, Garrett came in first in a five-person field with nearly 26% of the vote and a margin of fewer than 200 votes.[6] During his time in office, he served on the General Laws and Technology, Courts of Justice, Education and Health, and Privileges and Elections committees.

United States House of Representatives

2016 election

In May 2016, after three ballots at the Republican nominating convention, Garrett won the Republican nomination for U.S. Representative in Virginia's 5th congressional district.[2]

In the November 2016 general election, Garrett defeated Democratic nominee Jane Dittmar, the former chairwoman of the Albemarle County board of supervisors. Garrett won with 58.2% of the vote to Dittmar's 41.6%.[7][8]

115th Congress

In January 2017, Garrett was named to the House Committees on Foreign Affairs, Homeland Security, and Education and the Workforce. He was also a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus,[9] though he told voters during the campaign that he would not join the group.[10] Garrett was a member of the Republican Study Committee.[11]

In March 2017, Garrett posed for a photo with Jason Kessler, one of his constituents who was an organizer of the Unite the Right rally, a far-right rally held in August 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. The rally became the site of violent clashes, leaving about 30 people injured, followed shortly by an incident in which a white supremacist rammed his car into a crowd, killing a woman and injuring 19 other people.[12] After the rally, Garrett disavowed the organizer and said he was unaware of Kessler's role in the rally when they initially met.

2018 election

In the spring of 2018, reports surfaced that Garrett and his wife, Flanna, used his congressional staff for personal use, leading his chief of staff to abruptly resign. Personal use of the staff time included running errands, house sitting, chauffeuring his kids and cleaning up after their dog.[13][14][15]

Rumors also spread that Garrett might not run again.[16][17] Garrett clarified later that he intended to run[18] in what political analyst Larry Sabato called "one of the oddest" speeches.[19] As of April 2018, Garrett was outraised by multiple Democratic opponents.[20] In light of these fundraising numbers, the Cook Political Report moved the race from "likely Republican" to the more competitive "leans Republican."[21] Democrats went on to nominate former investigative journalist Leslie Cockburn.[22]

On May 28, 2018, Garrett announced that he is an alcoholic[23] and would not run seek a second term in 2018.

Personal life

In April 2019, Garrett and his wife, Flanna Sheridan, separated.[24] In August 2021, Sheridan filed suit in Rockingham County Circuit Court for false imprisonment, emotional distress, trespassing and civil assault, seeking $450,000 in damages[24] stemming from an attempt by Garrett to repossess a vehicle driven by Sheridan.[24]


  1. ^ GARRETT, Thomas Alexander Jr. (1972-)
  2. ^ a b Rohr, Alex (May 14, 2016). "Sen. Tom Garrett wins 5th District Republican nomination on third ballot". The News & Advance.
  3. ^ "Garrett to Challenge Short for Louisa Post". The Central Virginian. June 21, 2007.
  4. ^ James Ivancic, Freshman Congressman Tom Garrett looks forward to busy session, Fauquier Times (December 27, 2016).
  5. ^ Staff reports, Candidates for 5th District outline priorities for Southside, Gazette-Virginian (October 31, 2016).
  6. ^ "2011 Results, Virginia State Board of Elections". Retrieved May 6, 2017.
  7. ^ "Virginia 2016 general election results". November 9, 2016. Retrieved May 6, 2017.
  8. ^ "Virginia Elections Database » Search Elections". Virginia Elections Database. Retrieved May 6, 2017.
  9. ^ Portnoy, Jenna (March 15, 2017). "Three Virginia GOP congressmen, including Rep. Tom Garrett in 5th District, line up against GOP health care plan". The Roanoke Times. Retrieved February 7, 2018.
  10. ^ The Editorial Board. "An Endorsement: Garrett Would Fight for Fifth District in Congress". Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  11. ^ "Member List". Republican Study Committee. Retrieved November 17, 2017.
  12. ^ "How Virginia candidates responded to the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville". Washington Post. August 12, 2017. Retrieved August 31, 2017.
  13. ^ [1] | Aides to a GOP congressman say they spent most of their days chauffeuring their boss's family and cleaning up dog poop | Grace Panetta | [2]
  14. ^ [3] | May 25, 2018 | Virginia Rep. Tom Garrett accused of making staffers his 'personal servants' | Alex Pappas | Fox News | [4]
  15. ^ [5] | June 1, 2018 | GOP Lawmaker Requested 'Sensitive' Email Audit Of His Own Staff | Susan Davis | [6]
  16. ^ "Garrett in turmoil, might quit Congress". POLITICO. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  17. ^ Hammel, Tyler. "Report: Garrett might drop out of 5th District race". The Daily Progress. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  18. ^ reports, The Daily Progress staff. "Garrett says he will run for reelection". The Daily Progress. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  19. ^ "Larry Sabato on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  20. ^ "Democrats crush House Republicans in fundraising". POLITICO. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  21. ^ "New House FEC Reports: Rating Changes in 7 Districts". The Cook Political Report. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  22. ^ Progress, Tyler Hammel The (Charlottesville) Daily. "Cockburn receives 5th District Democratic nomination". Roanoke Times. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  23. ^ Washington Post. "Rep. Garrett announces he is an alcoholic and will not seek re-election". Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  24. ^ a b c News-Record, IAN MUNRO Daily. "Lawsuit Entangles City Towing Firm, Former Congressman". Daily News-Record. Retrieved January 4, 2022.

External links

Senate of Virginia
Preceded by Member of the Virginia Senate
from the 22nd district

Succeeded by
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 5th congressional district

Succeeded by
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded byas Former US Representative Order of precedence of the United States
as Former US Representative
Succeeded byas Former US Representative
This page was last edited on 27 April 2022, at 20:51
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