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GLE Alumnus Rigell Wins Virginia Congressional Race

| November 3, 2010

Scott Rigell
Photo by Patrick Wright

Scott Rigell '90 (Global Leadership & Entrepreneurship) won a decisive victory in Virginia's 2nd Congressional District on Tuesday, Nov. 2, as part of a nationwide Republican sweep that gave the GOP control of the U.S. House of Representatives. Rigell defeated the Democratic incumbent by a 10-point margin.

"We ran this race as if the very future of our country was at stake and indeed it was," Rigell said in his victory speech at the Westin Hotel in Virginia Beach, where several hundred supporters gathered to await the election results.

"Nothing approaches the magnitude of the challenge facing us," he continued. "Now, the second part of our journey starts tomorrow, as we begin to work together to turn the country around."

Rigell campaigned on eight specific reforms, including rolling back Congressional office budgets to 2008 levels, supporting Congressional pension reform, pledging to serve no more than 12 years and prohibiting non-defense "earmarks" in federal legislation. Rigell also emphasized the need to create an economic environment that encourages job creation and to cut federal spending.

"I go to Congress with a deep resolve to change Congress rather than having Congress change me," he said. "And I expect you and the other constituents of the 2nd District to hold me accountable to these reforms."

During his comments, Rigell also reached out to those who did not support his campaign, reminding them that the Democrat Party members are not the only people who care about the poor, minorities and the environment. He pledged to work with all members of Congress on these and other issues.

In closing, Rigell captured the audience's attention and reminded them of the words of President Ronald Reagan that he echoed frequently during his congressional campaign: "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free."

Rigell, 50, is a business owner from Virginia Beach, Va. The founder and chairman of Freedom Automotive in Virginia Beach, he and his wife, Teri, own automobile dealerships in Virginia Beach, Norfolk and Chesapeake. He is a past president of the Hampton Roads Automobile Dealers Association.

Originally from Titusville, Fla., Rigell served in the Marine Corps Reserve, rising to the rank of sergeant before an honorable discharge after six years. He earned his B.B.A. from Mercer University and his M.B.A. from Regent. Rigell was selected as the School of Global Leadership & Entrepreneurship's Alumnus of the Year for 2010.

Rigell has served many community organizations, including the local chambers of commerce and economic development corporations. He has volunteered extensively for the local chapters of the United Way and the Boy Scouts.

Passionate about education, Rigell was instrumental in bringing Christian higher education to Tanzania as co-founder and board member of the Friends of St. John's University. He also recently completed six years as a board member of Horizons Hampton Roads, a non-profit organization offering a summer enrichment experience to low-income students who attend public elementary or middle schools in Norfolk, Virginia Beach and Portsmouth, and has served as a volunteer mentor at First Colonial High School in Virginia Beach and as a partner-in-education at Willoughby Elementary School in Norfolk.

Rigell and his wife have four grown children and one grandchild.

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Mindy Hughes, Public Relations

Phone: 757.352.4095 Fax: 757.352.4888

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