Full Name: Robert Wittman
Nick Names: Rob
Office Sought: Congress, 1st Congressional District of Virginia
Party Affiliation: Republican
Campaign Website: https://robwittman.com/
Campaign POC: Daniel
Phone Number: 910-528-4293
Structured Interview Request Sent: 3 Dec 2021, 20 Dec 2021, 29 Dec 2021, 16 Jan 2022, 25 Jan 2022, 27 Jan 2022
Structured Interview Response and Date: 2 Feb 2022
Vetting Panel Selected: Pending
Structured Interview Completed: Pending
Biography: Rob learned from a young age the valuable contributions small businesses make to our nation. He was a short-order cook for Shoney’s restaurant in Henrico, worked for the Richmond Braves baseball team selling tickets, and then as the mascot. He worked the parking lot at Kings Dominion, on a fishing boat on the Chesapeake Bay, in a tomato cannery in Westmoreland, and as a bag boy in a mom-and-pop grocery store, so he knows the value of hard work and determination. Rob holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University, a Master of Public Health degree in Health Policy and Administration from the University of North Carolina, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
Rob’s wife, Kathryn, who worked for 41 years as a teacher at Cople Elementary School in Hague, is a Westmoreland County native whom he met when he spent high school and college summer recesses working in a Leedstown tomato cannery and on a Reedville fishing boat in the Northern Neck. Rob grew up in Henrico County, where his mother taught middle school and high school. Since 1985, Rob and Kathryn have lived in the same home in Montross where they raised their two children: a daughter, Devon, and a son, Josh. Rob and Kathryn are proud grandparents to six wonderful grandchildren. Rob is an avid hunter and fisherman and enjoys spending time on the water.
Why you? Rob was first elected to serve the First Congressional District of Virginia in December 2007, and his top priority has always been the constituents of the First District. From rebuilding our military, to securing jobs throughout Virginia, to increasing access to broadband, to making sure our children have a 21st-century education, Rob is constantly working for the First District.
As a Member of the Republican Study Committee, Rob is a leader in the fight against massive government spending and returning common sense, conservative principles to the budget process. Rob serves on the House Armed Services Committee and the Committee on Natural Resources, where he is well-positioned to represent the needs of the First District.
On the House Armed Services Committee, Rob serves as the Vice Ranking Member of the Full Committee and Ranking Member of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, where he has proven to be a staunch supporter of our men and women in uniform. Rob is leading the charge to increase and modernize our Naval fleet in order to ensure we are adequately prepared to combat increasing global threats, replace aging ships in a timely manner, and meet any Pacific confrontations that could arise from China’s increase in military capabilities and aggression. He has worked tirelessly to keep maritime jobs in Virginia, a major driver of the local economy. Rob’s Domestic Maritime Centers of Excellence Act, now signed into law, promotes career and technical education programs to secure the domestic maritime talent pipeline.
With a father that served in the Army in World War II, Rob is a strong advocate for our veterans, fighting to ensure they can access the health care benefits and educational and job opportunities they have earned and deserve. Rob has introduced multiple pieces of legislation that would require more transparency from the Veterans Administration (VA), would streamline processes for veterans trying to receive care, and would help transition veterans into the civilian job market after service.
A champion of protecting and restoring the Chesapeake Bay, Rob serves on the House Natural Resources Committee, to which he brings his professional expertise in water quality, the environment, fisheries, and other natural resource issues. He is a leading voice for the conservation of the Chesapeake Bay and is outspoken in supporting its recovery programs. His Chesapeake Bay Accountability Act, signed into law in 2014, increased transparency for how cleanup dollars are spent. Rob has also succeeded in achieving long overdue federal recognition for six Virginia Indian tribes after decades of efforts to get his legislation signed into law. Rob received his undergraduate degree in biology from Virginia Tech and has spent his career fighting to protect our environment so that it can be enjoyed by future generations. Throughout his time in Congress, Rob has remained focused on creating more jobs and opportunities for all Americans and also passing pro-growth policies to support our small businesses. He believes we must continue to incentivize rehiring, remove regulatory barriers to job creation, and return our supply chain from China; the Government’s role should be to eliminate barriers to success, not create them.
What are your priorities?
Jobs and the Economy
Environment and Energy
Endorsements: Did not answer.
Education: Rob holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University, a Master of Public Health degree in Health Policy and Administration from the University of North Carolina, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
Relevant Employment History: Prior to his election to Congress, Rob spent 26 years working as a health specialist for the Virginia Department of Health’s Division of Shellfish Sanitation and as an environmental health specialist for local health departments in Virginia’s Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula regions.
Past Offices Held and Tenure: Rob has served in several levels of government, from Town Council to the United States Congress. He won his first campaign for public office in 1986 when he was elected to the Montross Town Council, where he served for ten years, four of them as Mayor. In 1995, Rob was elected to the Westmoreland County Board of Supervisors and was elected its Chairman in 2003. In 2005, voters in the 99th Legislative District elected Rob to the Virginia House of Delegates, where he served until he was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2007. Prior to his election to Congress, Rob spent 26 years working as a health specialist for the Virginia Department of Health’s Division of Shellfish Sanitation and as an environmental health specialist for local health departments in Virginia’s Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula regions.
Community Service: Did not answer.
Leadership Experience: Rob was first elected to serve the First Congressional District of Virginia in December 2007, and his top priority has always been the constituents of the First District. From rebuilding our military, to securing jobs throughout Virginia, to increasing access to broadband, to making sure our children have a 21st-century education, Rob is constantly working for the First District.
Personal Strengths: Did not answer.
What is the most important thing Virginians need to know about you? Did not answer.
How would your friends and family describe you? Did not answer.
What are your thoughts on the Constitution as the Law of the Land? The Constitution and the Bill of Rights together were established to limit the power of the federal government and protect the rights of citizens. It is paramount that the Constitution remains the law of the land in order to maintain the freedoms that our country is blessed with.
What are your thoughts on religious liberty? Our country was founded by faithful people who wished to practice their faith in peace. Thus, religious freedom is an inalienable right, protected by the constitution, and must remain so.
What are your thoughts on the preservation of our history? America is the greatest nation and retelling the story of the founding, heroes, and struggles over our history are fundamental to the character of our nation. Our country has dark chapters where great sins have been committed – like slavery. That said, our history must be preserved, as a cautionary tale to future Americans, not to make the same mistakes. We must learn from mistakes of the past, and use them as an opportunity to grow and continue to push for what is right. Moving forward, we must look for opportunities that bring us together, not tear us apart, and we must work to solve differences in our communities with positive actions.
What are your thought on government transparency? Holding Members of Congress accountable and bringing transparency back to our system of government has remained one of my top priorities. Government transparency is vital, as it promotes faith that our representatives are in keeping with the will of the people that elected them. To that end, transparency also keeps elected officials accountable to the people.
What are your thoughts on national defense? We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s history: we must decide if the United States will retain its global primacy, or if we will concede our position to the malign intent of Communist China and other adversaries. As Vice Ranking Member on the House Armed Services Committee, I have worked to ensure we bring the capability of our Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force closer to meeting the reality of threats facing the United States and to project power around the globe. A strong national defense is necessary to meet the threats facing the United States and to project power around the globe to deter our adversaries.
What are your thoughts on the free enterprise system? The free enterprise system is the most productive system in providing prosperity and lifting people out of poverty.
What are your thoughts on the protection of the unborn? As a child of adoption, I believe all life is precious and deserves to be protected. I value protecting the sanctity of life and will continue to be a standard-bearer for upholding family values. We can all agree that the most vulnerable members of our community deserve a place to call home and a place to find and reach their full potential.
What are your thoughts on the role the family plays in America? The family is at the center of American society, and at a time when traditional values are under attack, it is so important for leaders to step up and protect that bedrock institution. I have seen first-hand the transformative power family can have – it is the most essential part of maintaining a civil society.
What are your thoughts on equal rights, equal justice and equal opportunity, as opposed to equal outcomes? It is important that we recognize that all Americans have equal rights under our Constitution. Equal outcomes cannot and should not be promised. Equal rights, justice and opportunity give the citizen the ability to reach their highest potential without the empty promise of equal outcomes, which cannot be guaranteed.
What are your thoughts on the 2nd Amendment? As a gun owner and strong supporter of Second Amendment rights, I believe that the constitutional right to keep and bear arms must be diligently protected. No law-abiding American should ever be denied their Constitutional rights without reason or due process, and the self defense of citizens and their families should never be in question. I will always fight to preserve the rights of citizens to purchase, possess, and use firearms for legitimate purposes.
Additional sources of information on this candidate:
United States House of Representatives (https://clerk.house.gov/)
Committee Assignments and Recent Votes (https://clerk.house.gov/members/W000804)
Congressional records Page (https://www.congress.gov/member/robert-wittman/W000804)
Official Biography. (https://wittman.house.gov/about/biography.htm)
Legislation Sponsored or Cosponsored (https://www.congress.gov/member/robert-wittman/W000804)
Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rob_Wittman