Edward Scott Rigell (born May 28, 1960) is the U.S. Representative for Virginia's 2nd congressional district. He is a member of the Republican Party.
Early life, education, and business career
Rigell was raised in Titusville, Florida. He served for six years in the United States Marine Corps Reserve from 1978–1984, attaining the rank of Sergeant. His father served in the Marines in World War II, landing on Iwo Jima, and his son is a Marine. He holds an A.A.
from Brevard Community College, a B.B.A. from Mercer University, and a M.B.A. from Regent University.
He founded Freedom Automotive in 1991, initially purchasing the former Bruce Flournoy Ford dealership in Norfolk, then expanding to purchase Thompson Ford in Hampton. Later, Rigell subsequently added a Volvo dealership and a Lincoln-Mercury dealer, the former Connolly-Phillips in Chesapeake. He and his wife Teri live in Virginia Beach and have four children.
Freedom Automotive distinguished itself by advertisements in which the entire Rigell family appeared, and Rigell himself gave out his personal home phone number to customers, so that they could talk to him directly if they had compliments or complaints. From the beginning, he billed the company as "a different kind of dealership."
Rigell sold the businesses of Freedom Ford-Hampton & Freedom Volvo and Freedom Lincoln Mercury-Chesapeake to their respective presidents, while continuing to own the properties. Freedom Lincoln-Mercury has since closed, while Freedom Ford-Hampton renamed itself to represent its new ownership under Brian Wynne, as Wynne Ford. Rigell still owns Freedom Ford in Norfolk.
U.S. House of Representatives
Rigell won the Republican nomination in a six-way race. The Hill rated Rigell's primary race as one of the top seven primaries in Congress for this election cycle. Rigell was considered by many to be the favorite in the primary, had support from the National Republican Congressional Committee and Eric Cantor, and was endorsed by Republican Virginia governor Bob McDonnell.
Rigell came under attack from his primary opponents for having sold 138 cars under the Cash for Clunkers program, which Rigell subsequently criticized as "reckless bailouts and an out-of-control federal debt." He also came under attack for making campaign contributions to Barack Obama during the 2008 Democratic primaries and to Virginia Democrat Louise Lucas in her bid against Randy Forbes. Rigell said he believed that Hillary Clinton would have been a worse option for President.
- General election
Rigell states that his top priority is reducing government spending and that he supports replacing the health care law with market-based reforms. As of June 4, 2010, Rigell had contributed $775,000 of his personal wealth to his campaign. Rigell defeated Democratic incumbent Glenn Nye for Virginia's 2nd congressional district.
- Social issues
Representative Rigell has conservative views on social issues: he states he is "proudly pro-life", he opposes gay marriage and opposed the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." In 2011, Rigell cosponsored bills to prohibit abortion coverage under the national Affordable Health Care law, prohibit the use of federal funds for Planned Parenthood and prohibit taxpayer funding of abortion.
Rigell supports a tax credit for heterosexual couples.
- Military issues
Rigell's district includes the largest concentration of active duty and retired service members in the United States. He supported the Veterans' Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) Act, which the House and Senate passed. This bill increased the rate of compensation for veterans who were disabled in active duty. Representative Rigell supports the continued military effort in Afghanistan; he opposed a vote in 2011 to remove troops from the country. However, he also opposes deploying ground troops to Libya.
Representative Rigell supported Paul Ryan's budget plan, Path to Prosperity, which called for repeal of the 2010 Healthcare legislation.
He vocally criticized Senate inaction on the House's budget plans in 2011, stating "Empirically we can show that the bottleneck is in the Senate — I hope every American stands up and says to Senator Reid: get these bills passed, we’ll go to conference, let’s work it out, we’ll work weekends and get this thing moving again." Ultimately, he voted in favor of S 627, the 2011 budget proposal which raised the debt ceiling and required a supercommittee to provide more concrete spending cuts.
- Warren Buffett challenge to the GOP
Billionaire Warren Buffet challenged the gop that he would match any donations to the treasury they give. In response the congressman donated 49k.
- Committee on Armed Services
- Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces
- Subcommittee on Strategic Forces
- Committee on Homeland Security
- Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security
- Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence
- Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications
- Committee on Science, Space and Technology
- Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics
- Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation
February 24, 2012