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March 31, 2014 Published in Choice 2014, Top Stories

Combat Veteran, Small Business Owner, And Former Congressional Staffer Announces Bid For VA-8 Congressional Seat

Combat veteran and small business owner Dennis Bartow today officially announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination to serve Virginia's 8th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. Bartow listed economic development, job creation, and a "smaller, smarter government" as his top priorities.

"The neighborhoods and communities that make up Virginia's 8th district stand at a crossroads today in how we are governed," said Bartow. "I'm running for Congress because Americans are tired of the gridlock and pessimism. I believe we can work together to create policies that will spur job growth and prosperity again – so that every American has the opportunity to share in our great nation's promise. I will reinvigorate the district and our nation with the business experience and entrepreneurship that helped me launch two successful businesses and create jobs.

"Along with a bad economy generally, small business owners say that government regulation and healthcare are the most important challenges they face today. Government should be helping businesses grow – and I believe it can, by getting out of the way.

"I'll also work to truly reform healthcare through competition and choice, so that Americans have the healthcare they want and need.

"And I’ll make the tough decisions necessary in Washington. Our federal debt levels are simply unsustainable. Excessive spending threatens the basic government functions we can all agree on, such as the safety net and a strong military."

Bartow, 39, joined the Army when he was 17 and currently serves in the National Guard. His tours of duty include Iraq, Kuwait, and Kosovo.

Bartow worked for two members of Congress for five years, covering a variety of issues as both a constituent case worker and a military legislative assistant.

He founded Bartow Imports, a Virginia-based importing company that distributes wine in 10 U.S. states and several countries, and helped found Mission Essential (formerly Aegis, Mission Essential Personnel), which provides linguists and operational support to the U.S. Departments of Defense, State, and Homeland Security and the intelligence community.

Bartow has a degree in political science from The Ohio State University and lives in Alexandria with his wife Ellie and their son.

The 8th District nominations convention takes place on April 26th at Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington.

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