Robert Joseph Wittman[1] (born February 3, 1959) is an American politician serving as the U.S. representative for Virginia’s 1st congressional district since 2007. The district stretches from the fringes of the Washington suburbs to the Hampton Roads area. He is a member of the Republican Party.[2]

Early life, education and career

Wittman was born in Washington, D.C., the son of adoptive parents Regina C. (née Wood) and Frank Joseph Wittman. His father was of German descent and his mother’s ancestors included immigrants from Ireland and Canada.[3] He grew up in Henrico County, Virginia. He attended Virginia Tech as a member of the Corps of Cadets and Army ROTC and studied biology. While at Virginia Tech, he spent the summers working at a tomato cannery and on a fishing vessel. Also while in college, Wittman was a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity. He earned a master’s degree in public health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1990 and a Ph.D. from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2002.[4] Wittman worked for 20 years with the Virginia Department of Health. He served as an environmental health specialist and was field director for the Division of Shellfish Sanitation.[5]

Wittman served on the Montross Town Council from 1986 to 1996 and as mayor of the Town of Montross from 1992 to 1996. Two of his major accomplishments in this office were the overhaul of the sewage system and the development of a computerized system for tax billing. From 1996 to 2005, Wittman served on the Westmoreland County Board of Supervisors, the last two years as chair. He helped create new libraries and pushed for raises in teacher salaries.

Virginia House of Delegates

In 2005, Wittman was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates, representing the 99th district. He served on the Agricultural; Chesapeake and Natural Resources; and Police and Public Safety Committees.

U.S. House of Representatives

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

Political positions

In 2010, Wittman’s stated platforms included support for corporate tax cuts, expanding broadband, and cutting spending.[12] He cosponsored legislation that would place a 2-year moratorium on capital gains and dividends taxes, cut the payroll tax rate and the self-employed tax rate in half for two years, and reduce the lowest income brackets by 5% each. He also favors deregulation.[12]

Wittman co-sponsored a personhood bill in Congress that defined life as beginning at conception.[13]

In 2012, Wittman said he would consider cutting pay and benefits for service members who join the military in the future in order to avoid closing bases or cutting the number of military personnel.[14]

Wittman authored the Chesapeake Bay Accountability and Recovery Act, designed “to enhance coordination, flexibility and efficiency of restoration efforts,” according to Wittman.[15] After several senators sponsored a bill to reauthorize the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, Wittman introduced a version of the bill for House members to consider.[16] He proposed the Advancing Offshore Wind Production Act (H.R. 1398), which he said was designed to simplify the process companies must go through to test and develop offshore wind power.[17]

Immigration

Wittman has said the “immigration system is broken. To keep America strong and prosperous, we need an immigration system that works for the American people.”[18] He supports ending chain migration, implementing e-verify, eliminating the visa-lottery system, funding a southern border wall, increased border security and immigration enforcement, and revision of legal immigration.[19] During the 115th Congress, Wittman voted to provide $1.6 billion for border security measures to enforce existing immigration laws, and The Project Safe Neighborhoods Grant Program Authorization Act.[19]

In November 2018, Wittman said that “85 percent [of immigrants] don’t show up for a scheduled court hearing or call to schedule a court hearing.” PolitiFact found that his claim was false. Wittman said he got the information from Representative Bob Goodlatte, who in turn said he got it from the conservative website Newsmax, which attributed the claim to an anonymous “senior Los Angeles County Sheriff’s detective”.[20]

Health care

Wittman opposes the Affordable Care Act and has voted to repeal it.[21] He said that Congress should not merely be “anti-Obamacare” and that Congressional Republicans are ready to provide alternatives if it is deemed unconstitutional.[22] In 2017, he voted for the American Health Care Act, which would have repealed and replaced the ACA.[22]

Texas v. Pennsylvania

In December 2020, Wittman was one of 126 Republican members of the House of Representatives to sign an amicus brief in support of Texas v. Pennsylvania, a lawsuit filed at the United States Supreme Court contesting the results of the 2020 presidential election, in which Joe Biden defeated[23] incumbent Donald Trump. The Supreme Court declined to hear the case on the basis that Texas lacked standing under Article III of the Constitution to challenge the results of an election held by another state.[24][25][26]

Certification of 2020 presidential election

On January 6, 2021, Wittman was one of the 147 Republican members of the U.S. Congress who objected to certifying the 2020 presidential election.[27] He voted against certifying Pennsylvania’s electors after a day of violence as the U.S. Capitol was breached by Trump supporters who disrupted proceedings, despite no clear evidence of widespread voter fraud.[28]

Political campaigns

2005

Wittman was first elected to the Virginia House of Delegates over Democrat Linda M. Crandell.

2007

Wittman was reelected to the Virginia House of Delegates unopposed.

On December 11, 2007, Wittman was first elected to the United States Congress to succeed the late Congresswoman Jo Ann Davis, who died in October 2007. He was heavily favored in the special election due to the 1st’s heavy Republican bent; it has been in Republican hands since 1977.[29] The Independent candidate was Lucky Narain.

2008

Wittman was elected to his first full term, defeating Democratic nominee Bill Day and Libertarian Nathan Larson.[30]

2010

Wittman was reelected, defeating Democratic nominee Krystal Ball and Independent Green candidate Gail Parker.

2012

Wittman was reelected, defeating Democratic nominee Adam Cook and Independent Green candidate Gail Parker.[22]

2014

Wittman defeated Democratic nominee Norm Mosher, Libertarian Xavian Draper, and Independent Green Gail Parker.[31]

2016

Wittman defeated Democratic nominee Matt Rowe and Independent Green candidate Gail Parker.[32]

2018

Wittman defeated Democratic nominee Vangie Williams.[33] With the Republicans losing their remaining seat based in the Washington suburbs, as well as seats in Hampton Roads and the Richmond suburbs, Wittman was left as the only Republican holding a seat east of Charlottesville.

2020

Wittman defeated Democratic nominee Qasim Rashid.[34]

Electoral history

Virginia’s 1st congressional district: Results 2007–2020[35][36]
YearRepublicanVotesPctDemocratVotesPct3rd PartyPartyVotesPct
2007Rob Wittman42,77261%Philip Forgit26,28237%Lucky NarainIndependent1,2532%
2008Rob Wittman203,83957%Bill Day150,43242%Nathan LarsonLibertarian5,2651%
2010Rob Wittman135,56464%Krystal Ball73,82435%Gail ParkerIndependent Green2,5441%
2012Rob Wittman200,84556%Adam M. Cook147,03641%Gail ParkerIndependent Green8,3082%[37]
2014Rob Wittman131,86162.9%Norm Mosher72,05934.4%Gail ParkerIndependent Green5,0972.4%[38]
2016Rob Wittman230,21359.8%Matt Rowe140,78536.6%Gail ParkerIndependent Green12,8663.3%[39]
2018Rob Wittman183,25055.2%Vangie A. Williams148,46444.7%[40]
2020Rob Wittman260,61458.2%Qasim Rashid186,92341.7%[41]

Personal life

Wittman is a member of St. James Episcopal Church in Montross.[4]

References

  1. ^ “Representative Robert Joseph Wittman (Rob) (R-Virginia, 1st) – Biography from LegiStorm”. Retrieved 5 January 2016.
  2. ^ “America’s First District – U.S. House of Representatives”. wittman.house.gov. Archived from the original on 7 January 2017. Retrieved 6 May 2017.
  3. ^ “Rob Wittman ancestry”. Archived from the original on August 18, 2016. Retrieved January 5, 2016.
  4. ^ a b “Rob Wittman”. dela.state.va.us. Retrieved June 13, 2014.
  5. ^ “About Rob”. Rob Wittman. Archived from the original on June 14, 2014. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
  6. ^ “Members”. House Baltic Caucus. Archived from the original on 21 February 2018. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  7. ^ “Members”. Congressional Constitution Caucus. Archived from the original on 8 March 2012. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  8. ^ “Our Members”. U.S. House of Representatives International Conservation Caucus. Archived from the original on 1 August 2018. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  9. ^ “Congressional Shipbuilding Caucus | U.S. Representative Rob Wittman”. Archived from the original on 2019-02-23. Retrieved 2019-02-22.
  10. ^ “Congressional Public Health Leadership | Commissioned Officers Association”. Archived from the original on 2015-05-23.
  11. ^ “Member List”. Republican Study Committee. Archived from the original on 22 December 2017. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
  12. ^ a b “On the issues”. Rob Wittman for Congress. Archived from the original on 2010-08-10.
  13. ^ Davis, Chelyen (October 9, 2012). “Federal debt a focus of 1st District debate”. fredericksburg.com. Archived from the original on June 15, 2014. Retrieved June 13, 2014.
  14. ^ “GOP chairman on cutting future troops’ benefits: ‘I think that is a place we can go’. Military Times. Archived from the original on 22 November 2013. Retrieved 5 January 2016.
  15. ^ “WITTMAN CHESAPEAKE BAY LEGISLATION PASSES THE HOUSE”. wittman.house.gov. February 6, 2014. Archived from the original on June 13, 2014. Retrieved June 13, 2014.
  16. ^ “Senate Bill Pushes for Wetlands Conservation Act Reauthorization”. floridasportsman.com. April 2, 2012. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved June 13, 2014.
  17. ^ Wittman, Rob (March 26, 2013). “Wittman Introduces Renewable Energy Legislation”. votesmart.org. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved June 13, 2014.
  18. ^ “Immigration”. Archived from the original on 2019-02-23. Retrieved 2019-02-22.
  19. ^ a b “Immigration | U.S. Representative Rob Wittman”. Archived from the original on 2019-02-23. Retrieved 2019-02-22.
  20. ^ “Rep. Rob Wittman says 85 percent of immigrants skip their court hearings”. @politifact. Archived from the original on 2019-06-25. Retrieved 2019-06-09.
  21. ^ Writer, By James Ivancic Times Staff. “Rep. Rob Wittman holds town hall in Nokesville”. Prince William Times. Archived from the original on 2019-07-17. Retrieved 2019-06-09.
  22. ^ a b c “Hope for Congress?”. Fredericksburg. May 4, 2012. Archived from the original on January 23, 2013. Retrieved May 27, 2012.
  23. ^ Blood, Michael R.; Riccardi, Nicholas (December 5, 2020). “Biden officially secures enough electors to become president”. AP News. Archived from the original on December 8, 2020. Retrieved December 12, 2020.
  24. ^ Liptak, Adam (2020-12-11). “Supreme Court Rejects Texas Suit Seeking to Subvert Election”. The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on December 11, 2020. Retrieved 2020-12-12.
  25. ^ “Order in Pending Case” (PDF). Supreme Court of the United States. 2020-12-11. Archived (PDF) from the original on December 11, 2020. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
  26. ^ Diaz, Daniella. “Brief from 126 Republicans supporting Texas lawsuit in Supreme Court”. CNN. Archived from the original on December 12, 2020. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
  27. ^ Yourish, Karen; Buchanan, Larry; Lu, Denise (2021-01-07). “The 147 Republicans Who Voted to Overturn Election Results”. The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 2021-01-09. Retrieved 2021-01-07.
  28. ^ Coghill Jr, Taft (2021-01-07). “Wittman votes against certifying Pennsylvania electors”. The Free Lance-Star. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 2021-01-07. Retrieved 2021-01-07.
  29. ^ Giroux, Greg (December 11, 2007). “Republican Wittman Wins Virginia House Seat in Special Election”. CQ Politics. Archived from the original on November 29, 2008. Retrieved March 7, 2010.
  30. ^ “District Detail: VA-01”. Congressional Quarterly. Archived from the original on November 27, 2008. Retrieved March 7, 2010.
  31. ^ “US Rep. Rob Wittman wins GOP primary in Virginia”. WTOP. 10 June 2014. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved January 5, 2016.
  32. ^ “Rep. Rob Wittman wins re-election in 1st District”. Richmond Times-Dispatch. 8 November 2016. Archived from the original on 23 September 2017. Retrieved February 7, 2017.
  33. ^ “Virginia’s 1st Congressional District election, 2018”. Ballotpedia. Archived from the original on 2022-01-31. Retrieved 2021-02-01.
  34. ^ “Virginia’s 1st Congressional District election, 2020”. Ballotpedia. Archived from the original on 2020-11-01. Retrieved 2021-02-01.
  35. ^ “Election Statistics”. Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives. Archived from the original on 2007-07-25. Retrieved 2010-12-23.
  36. ^ “Election results”. Virginia State Board of Elections. Archived from the original on 2010-06-17. Retrieved 2010-12-23.
  37. ^ Virginia State Board of Elections. “Election Results: Member of House of Representatives (01)”. November 2012 General Election Official Results. Virginia.gov. Archived from the original on 12 May 2013. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  38. ^ Virginia State Board of Elections. “Election Results: Member of House of Representatives (01)”. November 2014 General Election Official Results. Virginia.gov. Archived from the original on 11 February 2017. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
  39. ^ Virginia State Board of Elections. “Election Results: Member of House of Representatives (01)”. November 2016 General Election Official Results. Virginia.gov. Archived from the original on 12 July 2019. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
  40. ^ Virginia State Board of Elections. “Election Results: Member of House of Representatives”. Virginia.gov. Archived from the original on 2018-11-08. Retrieved 2019-05-05.
  41. ^ “2020 November General”. results.elections.virginia.gov. Archived from the original on 2021-02-03. Retrieved 2021-02-01.

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia’s 1st congressional district

2007–present
Incumbent
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by

United States representatives by seniority
102nd
Succeeded by