Congressman Rigell will not seek re-election in 2016

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — U.S. Representative Scott Rigell (R) has announced that he will not seek re-election to the 2nd Congressional District of Virginia in 2016.

In a statement issued Thursday afternoon, Rigell said:

You might ask, “Why is now the time to leave?” The answer is found in why I set aside all else and sought the office: to build a strong House majority that would check and balance the party that then controlled both political branches of the federal government. With your help we did just that.

In the release, Rigell stated that he believes they were able to make progress on reducing discretionary government spending.

Rigell also went on to state:

I mention that accomplishment because the five-year point of service is, to me, a point of decision:  has a meaningful difference been made and it’s time go home, or is serving in Congress a career and the hope is to serve much longer.  Given the two alternatives, my belief in term limits, and in reflecting upon what my team and I have accomplished, I am at peace about coming home.

In a news conference Thursday afternoon, Rigell said it was a decision he considered with his family over the last few months.

“Virginia. too is very very special and I’ll forever be grateful and humbled by the opportunity to have served this amazing community for six years,” he said. With emotion, he recalled the service members he has represented and Gold Star families, who have lost loved ones.

“We just put our arms around them and try to, as best we can, stand with them as they seek, and we do too, to honor and remember their loved one and fight for that which they gave their life for.”

Rigell said he had called former State Senator Jeff McWaters about his decision and would support him in a run for his seat. “We need a man or woman of that caliber to serve this district. I believe that, and I hope that he’d give it good and prayerful consideration, and if he says yes, I’m with him.”

McWaters told WAVY News, “I’m in shock, but it’s something I’ll take a look at.”

Following Rigell’s announcement, the National Republican Congressional Committee issued this statement:

Congressmen like Scott Rigell are hard to come by. Throughout his career, Scott Rigell wasn’t just committed to our shared conservative values, he has also been committed to improving our politics, and in so doing, improving our country.

Scott has been a tireless advocate for Hampton Roads, especially our men and women in uniform. There’s no greater testament to his hard work than the number of Gold Star families who supported him during his 3 campaigns.

Scott will be sorely missed in Virginia politics and we sincerely thank him for his service to our country and Commonwealth. We wish him all the best in his future endeavors.

U.S. Senator Tim Kaine released the following statement on Rigell’s retirement:

Scott Rigell has played a unique role in the House of Representatives throughout his three terms. There are few Members of Congress who are as focused on doing what’s right and working with any and all partners to find common ground. I am thankful for Scott’s service to the Commonwealth and I will really miss working together.”

U.S. Senator Mark Warner released the following statement:

I’ve known Scott for many years and I have always found him to be someone of honor and integrity. I especially appreciate his focus on an issue we both care deeply about: a bipartisan approach to fixing the budget and cutting the national debt. He also has been a strong partner in our shared advocacy for Virginia’s military and our veterans. Scott Rigell is a friend and a great colleague. I’ll miss him, as will the people of the Second District. I thank him for his service and offer my best wishes.

Stay with WAVY News 10 and WAVY.com for updates.

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