Rep. Tom GarrettThomas (Tom) Alexander GarrettInternal poll shows tight race in Virginia House race Internal poll shows neck-and-neck race brewing in Virginia House contest GOP congressman loses primary after officiating gay wedding MORE (R-Va.) said there was a high security presence at one of his town halls this week because law enforcement deemed death threats against him before the event as “credible and real.”
"It's nuts," Garrett said in an interview with Politico published Wednesday, a day after his town hall. "I served in the military. I reconciled myself with the reality that one day I’m not going to be here.”
"But when it's, 'I'm going to kill you this way.' Then, 'I'm going to kill your wife. This is what I’m going to do to your daughters.' … Then you got a circumstance where there’s an awful lot of security."
Garrett said that Capitol Police, state police and intelligence officials assessed the threats before the Tuesday night town hall in Moneta, Va. The former Army captain added that recent threats targeted him, his family and his dog.
“I don’t want to die anytime soon. I got stuff left do, I hope. But when you pull wives and children in, that’s not cool," he told Politico.
The newspaper said Tuesday night’s town hall at Eastlake Community Church included uniformed and plainclothes security.
House Republicans are facing tense town halls following last week’s passage of legislation for repealing and replacing ObamaCare.
Controversy over how the bill would affect healthcar has resulted in GOP lawmakers facing increasingly vocal opposition at the events.
Garrett, a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, voted in favor of the American Health Care Act.
The freshman congressman said in Wednesday’s interview that he welcomes debate on his support for the AHCA.
“I don’t have any problem with anybody who reaches a different policy conclusion based on the information they amalgamate and process,” he said. "That dissent is American — praise God, we need that. That’s what made us who we are."