CHARLOTTESVILLE — Another Democrat has joined the contest to attempt to wrest Virginia’s Fifth Congressional District from Republican control.
Dr. Cameron Webb is a hospitalist, assistant professor of medicine and a director of health policy and equity at the University of Virginia.
A native of Spotsylvania, Webb graduated from UVa and went on to earn a medical degree from Wake Forest University and a law degree from Loyola University.
He was a White House fellow in 2016 and 2017. If nominated by the Democratic Party and elected in November 2020, the Charlottesville resident would become the first African American to represent the district in Congress.
He has always wanted to be a doctor, he said, but he chose to get a law degree because he wanted to advocate for people, too, and sees politics as a natural next step in making his advocacy reality.
His primary campaign issue will be to fix health care systems and expand access to more Virginians.
“It’s not once in a while that I run into people with an access issue; it’s every patient,” he said, listing problems patients tell him about health insurance, drug prices, the cost of long-term care and the quality of care.
Webb said he would work to support federal health care programs such as the Affordable Care Act, Medicare and Medicaid, as well as other options.
“Some people do like their health insurance, and one of the fundamental notions in this country is choice. We have to figure out how to maintain that space but at the same time raise that floor where we have 60,000 people who have no insurance at all,” he said. “There’s some ground we can pick up to make sure that everybody’s got that basic coverage for primary and preventative care.”
After his final year of medical school, Webb applied to be a White House fellow. He ended up being in the White House for the last six months of President Barack Obama’s term and the first six months of President Donald Trump’s term.
He saw the day-to-day workings on topics such as social determinants of health, Medicaid and costs of prescription drugs, and had the chance to get both Democratic and Republican leaders to discuss bipartisan solutions to issues.
Two other Democrats have declared their intention to run.
Roger Dean “R.D.” Huffstetler, a former Marine and Tom Tom Festival adviser, first ran for the seat in 2018 and lost the nomination to Leslie Cockburn.
Kim Daugherty is a lawyer in Fauquier County.
The Democratic candidate would then likely face Rep. Denver Riggleman, a Republican who has been in office since January.