Aug 17, 2014

Candidate Spotlight: Bobby Scott of the 3rd Congressional District

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Congressman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott issued the following statement on the decision by a three judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upholding the district court’s decision in Bostic v. Rainey, which ruled Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional: “I applaud the Fourth Circuit for upholding the lower court’s decision in Bostic v. Rainey. This decision is based on sound legal reasoning consistent with a growing list of decisions by courts all over the country, beginning with the Supreme Court’s 1967 decision in Loving v. Virginia. The Loving Court unanimously struck down bans on interracial marriage stating that marriage is one of the ‘basic civil rights of man.’ And last year, the Supreme Court in U.S. v. Windsor continued this legal reasoning when it struck down the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, which I opposed in Congress. Today’s decision is a critical step forward for marriage equality in the Commonwealth.”

Bobby Scott is running as an incumbent in the Third Congressional District. Even though Congressman Scott is unopposed, he understands that every Democratic voter in the district still needs to show up and vote on November 4th. Congressman Scott is asking for your vote for himself, but also for Senator Mark Warner who is running against a well-funded Republican candidate. If nothing else, last year’s elections taught us that EVERY VOTE COUNTS. YOUR vote could be the one that makes a vital difference.

Rep. Scott was born on April 30, 1947 in Washington, D.C. and grew up in Newport News, Virginia. He earned a B.A. in Political Science from Harvard and a J.D. from Boston College. He received an honorable discharge after serving in the Massachusetts National Guard and the Army Reserve. Upon completing law school, Rep. Scott returned to Newport News where he practiced law from 1973 to 1991 and was the President of the Newport News chapter of the NAACP. Rep. Scott is a member of St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church in Newport News and is a member of many professional, community and civic boards and organizations.

He served in the Virginia legislature for 15 years, including the Virginia House of Delegates from 1978 to 1983. Additionally, he served in the Virginia Senate from 1983 to 1993. During his 15 years in the Virginia General Assembly, Rep. Scott focused on creating jobs, increasing access to healthcare, improving education and economic opportunity, improving crime prevention strategies and enhancing consumer protections. His legislative successes focused on these issues and resulted in enhanced benefits for women, families and children. Among his legislative achievements were an increase in Virginia’s minimum wage and legislation that established the Governor’s Employment and Training Council.

Scott is serving his 11th term in Congress and made history by becoming the first African American elected to Congress from Virginia since Reconstruction. He is also the first American with Filipino ancestry to serve as a voting Member of Congress, as his maternal grandfather is of Filipino ancestry. Contrary to the reputation of the House of Representatives, because of his penchant for working long hours and maintaining a busy schedule, Rep. Scott was listed as one of the 25 hardest working Members of Congress by The Hill newspaper (a Capitol Hill publication) in 2010.

In Congress, Rep. Scott currently serves as a member of the House Judiciary Committee and the Committee on Education and the Workforce. He is a champion of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights and fights to protect civil liberties for all Americans. He has been vocal critic of warrantless wiretapping and has been a steadfast opponent of employment discrimination in federally funded programs.

Rep. Scott is a leader in the effort against over-incarceration and has championed crime prevention policies and legislation. He is the chief sponsor of the Youth PROMISE Act, which would provide resources to state and local governments for evidenced-based juvenile crime prevention programs.

The LGBT Democrats of Virginia have sent all candidates including Congressman Scott endorsement questionnaires. We have not received the questionnaire or voted on endorsements yet, but we will post on our website when endorsements are made. We will be highlighting Democratic candidates for all the Congressional Districts in the coming weeks. We encourage you all to go out and talk to the candidates in your area and to help out as you are able. It is important to Virginia to elect strong Democratic candidates.