Scott Rigell

Contact Information

Telephone:202-225-4215 (Main phone number)
Telephone:757-802-9936 (Main campaign number)
Campaign finance

Candidate Background

Birth place:Titusville, FL
Residence:Virginia Beach, VA
First Elected:2010


District:District 2
Next Election:2014

Graduate education: Brevard Community College


Undergraduate education: Mercer University


Graduate education: Regent University


Scott Rigell was born in Titusville, Fla., and now resides in Virginia Beach, Va. He earned an associate degree at Brevard Community College, a bachelor's in business administration at Mercer University and a master's in business administration from Regent University.

He became a member of the Marine Corps Reserve in 1978 and remained there for six years, attaining the rank of sergeant.

Rigell managed two automobile dealerships and is a past president of the Hampton Roads Automobile Dealers Association. He founded his own car dealership, Freedom Automotive, in 1991. He is the chairman of the company.

Rigell has been active for decades in Republican politics raising money for candidates. He won his first bid for elected office in 2010, defeating Democratic U.S. Rep. Glenn Nye.

He and his wife, Teri, have four children.


Scott Rigell is running for re-election for the first time for the seat he won in the Republican rebound election of 2010.

He earned his fortune in the automobile industry — founding his own car dealership that has branches in Virginia Beach, Norfolk and Chesapeake — and he has donated generously to Republicans since the 1990s.

He and his wife, Teri, have given more than $200,000 to GOP candidates in elections for state office, according to the Virginia Public Access Project, a nonprofit and nonpartisan tracker of money in Virginia politics. He also has given nearly $125,000 to Republican candidates and committees in federal contests.

Federal Election Commission online records show that he also contributed $1,000 to the 2008 presidential campaign of Democratic then-Sen. Barack Obama, a fact that led to criticism by his five rivals in the 2010 GOP primary.

Rigell enjoyed strong fundraising during the primary and an unmatchable advantage — the endorsement of his friend and former Virginia Beach resident, Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell.

Rigell campaigned in 2010 as a critic of that year's health care reform law, the 2009 economic stimulus package, the 2010 financial industry regulatory reforms and the 2010 cap-and-trade energy legislation. He never mentioned that his car dealerships benefited from the stimulus program.

USA Today quoted Rigell as denouncing then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for "reckless bailouts and an out-of-control federal debt" while records show that Rigell's dealerships sold 138 cars in 2009 under the Cash for Clunkers program, one of the best-received facets of the 2009 economic stimulus package.

Since his election to the House in 2010, Rigell has been a loyal soldier of the Republican conservatives to won back control of the chamber that year. He supported Rep. Paul Ryan's proposed budget, and has been a consistent foe of abortion, including pushing for prohibition of abortion coverage under the 2010 health care reform bill.

Rigell's district is home to the world's largest U.S. Navy base, and he has supported increased compensation for veterans injured on duty. He supports the U.S. role in Afghanistan, but opposed U.S. intervention in Libya.

Rigell faces a November 2012 general election challenge from Democrat Paul Hirschbiel, a wealthy centrist who has strong backing from his former business partner, Sen. Mark Warner, a popular former governor of Virginia.

Committee Assignments: Armed Services; Homeland Security; Science, Space, and Technology

American Conservative Union Rating: 80

Americans for Democratic Action Rating: 10


Scott Rigell won his June 2014 primary, he will face Suzanne Patrick in November.

(Last updated by The Associated Press on June 17, 2014.)

Last updated 12:16am January 16, 2017