Supporters of Leslie Cockburn, the Democratic Congressional nominee for Virginia’s 5th District, rallied behind her during a Flip the 5th Fish Fry held at Elmo Grocery on Sunday as she spoke against tariffs, uranium mining and cuts to social security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Cockburn’s opponent in the Nov. 6 election is Republican Denver Riggleman, a craft distillery owner and former Air Force intelligence officer.

“Everybody is getting hit by these tariffs, whether you’re a dairy farmer in Campbell County or a soybean farmer in Pittsylvania County,” said Cockburn.

She said the Virginia Distillery Company has endorsed her, and said, “These tariffs are going to kill us, because we can compete internationally but not with these tariffs. Our economy depends on us standing up and turning these things around.”

The environment, clean air and clean water are other things she feels is dependent on her winning the election.

“Look at what’s happening in the Supreme Court right now, that the ban on uranium mining will end. The Trump administration is coming in on that fight saying they want the ban to be dropped. What about state rights? What about the state’s right to protect the state’s ability to protect the people here? So, that’s going to be a big fight,” said Cockburn.

The Democratic nominee for Virginia’s 5th District also spoke of a court case in Texas that is saying “it’s unconstitutional to guarantee health care to people with a preexisting condition.

“The idea that you would take that away from people. If that does not bother you, then look at the Republican budget committee with Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid. They want to do massive cuts. My job going up there is to stop that,” she added.

“Let me just say, and I’ve said it before, but I really feel it now, that our democracy is at stake. This year this could be the most important election of our lifetime.

“Our grandchildren are going to ask what were you doing in 2018, that’s how important it is. People are fed up. They are angry. They have had enough of this. Let’s take charge, and that’s exactly what we’re doing.”

Ashley Hodge reports for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact her at

Ashley Hodge is a staff writer for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact her at