|Member of the U.S.HouseofRepresentatives |
from Virginia's 5th district
January 3, 2011 –January 3, 2017
|Preceded by||Tom Perriello|
|Succeeded by||Tom Garrett|
|Member of the Virginia Senate |
from the 19th district
January 9, 2008 –January 3, 2011
|Preceded by||Charles R. Hawkins|
|Succeeded by||Bill Stanley|
|Member of the VirginiaHouseofDelegates |
from the 16th district
|Preceded by||Chip Woodrum|
|Succeeded by||Donald Merricks|
|Member of Chatham Town Council|
|Born||June 16, 1969|
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Residence||Chatham, Virginia, U.S.|
|Education|| Hampden-Sydney College (B.S.)|
Mississippi College School of Law (J.D.)
Robert Hurt (born June 16, 1969) is an American politician who served as the U.S. Representative for Virginia's 5th congressional district from 2011 to 2017, where he served on the Financial Services Committee as Vice-Chair of the Capital Markets Subcommittee and Vice-Chair of the Housing and Insurance Subcommittee.
After 16 years in public office, Hurt stepped down from Congress in January 2017 and was invited to Liberty University to serve as vice-president and founding Director of Liberty's Center for Law and Government. In 2019, Hurt was asked to serve and currently serves as the Dean of the Helms School of Government at Liberty University.
Prior to representing Virginia's Fifth District, Hurt practiced law and served as a citizen-legislator from Southside Virginia, representing Virginia's 19th Senate District for three years and Virginia's 16th House of Delegates District for six years. Prior to his election to the Virginia General Assembly in 2001, Hurt served on the Chatham Town Council and as Chief Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney for Pittsylvania County.
Hurt was born in New York City, and a law degree from Mississippi College School of Law in 1995. Hurt also graduated from the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership program in 2000. He served as a chief assistant Commonwealth's Attorney for Pittsylvania County from 1996 to 1999. From 1999 to 2008, Robert worked in a general law practice with the firm of H. Victor Millner, Jr. P.C. in Chatham. In 2008, Robert opened up his own law practice in Chatham. Hurt is a member of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity.where he lived for about nine years. His father, Henry Hurt, was a journalist and editor for Reader's Digest . In 1986, Henry wrote a book questioning the findings of the Warren Commission called Reasonable Doubt: An Investigation into the Assassination of John F. Kennedy. Hurt was raised in Chatham, Virginia, attended Hargrave Military Academy and graduated from Episcopal High School in Alexandria. He earned a bachelor's degree in English from Hampden-Sydney College in 1991
Hurt began his political career as a member of the Chatham Town Council. percent of the vote. Hurt was first elected to the House of Delegates in 2001 and served three terms. He represented the 16th District, which includes part of Pittsylvania County. He was elected and re-elected to the House of Delegates with at least 62 percent of the vote. He cited bringing the New College Institute and the Virginia Museum of Natural History as accomplishments that he and other legislators of both parties have worked together to bring to the area.He was elected with 82
During his time as a delegate, Hurt worked to increase state funding for K-12 education and increase the safety of Virginia's children through membership on the Courts of Justice Committee and the Youth Internet Safety Taskforce. bills in the General Assembly that sought to reduce taxes on food, gas, cigarettes, cars, real estate, computer sales and other items. In 2004, Hurt voted in favor of a $1.4 billion tax increase to narrow the gap in Virginia's budget. Hurt stated that the increase was essential, based on the information lawmakers had at the time, to refrain from a government shutdown over a budget impasse and has since stated regret over the vote.Hurt voted two dozen times to cut taxes and supported 28
In November 2007, Hurt was elected to the Senate of Virginia, winning 75 percent of the vote. Hurt represented the 19th district, which includes the city of Danville, all of Pittsylvania and Franklin counties, and part of Campbell county.
On October 7, 2009, Hurt officially declared himself a candidate for Virginia's 5th congressional district . The district stretches from Charlottesville to Southside Virginia and west to Bedford and Franklin counties. Hurt was the Republican establishment candidate in the primary and was not received well by the Tea Party. On June 8, 2010, Hurt won the Republican nomination with a plurality in a crowded field of six other candidates. All of Hurt's opponents in the primary endorsed him. A local Tea Party Leader said his group would "unite behind" and "support" Hurt.
Hurt campaigned against Democratic incumbent Tom Perriello and Independent candidate Jeffrey Clark in the general election. most vulnerable House incumbents by Roll Call . Hurt was a member of the National Republican Congressional Committee's "Young Guns" program.Republicans viewed his as a pickup opportunity and poured resources into the race. Perriello was listed as one of the 10
On June 12, Hurt stated that he would "absolutely" participate in debates that included all the candidates, including Independent candidate Clark. Just days later, Hurt stated that he would not debate Clark. Although the statement was made in response to a direct query from a reporter as to whether he would debate Clark, Hurt's campaign later tried to justify their position by insisting this was untrue.Hurt skipped the first debate which was organized by the Senior Statesmen of Virginia, becoming the first candidate to skip the forum since it started in 1996. In addition to the first debate, Hurt skipped two subsequent debates one sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce in Nelson County and another hosted by American Legion Post 325 in Danville making a total of three skipped debates.
Hurt campaigned on his opposition to the Democratic-backed initiatives that Perriello supported, such as health-care reform, the economic stimulus package and clean energy legislation. percent of the vote. He became the first freshman Republican to represent this district since Reconstruction. Virgil Goode, who represented the district from 1997 to 2009, was originally elected as a Democrat, and only joined the GOP in 2002 after serving as an independent from 2000 to 2002.On August 20, Hurt released his first television ad. The ad stated that he would fight tax increases, stop Washington's spending and start creating jobs, however he never mentioned his opponents. "You definitely see that he's running against Congress as a whole and Democrats as a whole," Isaac Wood, an analyst at the University of Virginia Center for Politics, said. "That was very clear. He spent just a few seconds introducing himself, then pivoted right away to attack the negative things happening in D.C. With voters, that can be effective." Another ad from Hurt called Perriello a "rubber stamp" for the policies of President Barack Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Hurt won with 51
Hurt was challenged by Democratic nominee John Douglass, a retired United States Air Force Brigadier General and former Assistant Secretary of the Navy. Hurt won re-election to a second term on November 6, 2012.
After his win, Hurt submitted a formal letter of resignation from the Virginia General Assembly to Governor Bob McDonnell that would be effective on January 5, the day Hurt was sworn into Congress. trillion 2012 federal budget proposal for its excessive spending and borrowing. Hurt would vote to pass a $1.2 trillion bill that would cut the year's budget federal budget by $61 billion. On April 8, Hurt voted for a continuing resolution that prevented the government from shutting down that day. Hurt expressed support for Paul Ryan's budget plan that month as well. On July 19, Hurt voted for the Cut, Cap and Balance Act. On August 1, Hurt voted for the Budget Control Act of 2011 that raised the debt ceiling and cut spending by $2.1 trillion over the next 10 years. Hurt co-sponsored a bill that would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from cracking down on farm dust. The bill passed the House on December 8.Hurt voted to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act which successfully passed the House. In February, Hurt criticized President Barack Obama's $3.73
Virginia Citizens Defense League, a pro-gun organization, gave Hurt a 78% approval rating. Asked if he supports the purchase and possession of guns, Hurt has consistently affirmed his support for gun rights.
Hurt has traditionally voted for legislation that restricts abortion. Virginia Society for Human Rights gave him a 100% approval rating.Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice have consistently given him 0% approval ratings every year since 2002.
Equality Virginia has given him between 0% and 11% approval ratings for his position on LGBT rights.
Hurt has affirmed that he supports capital punishment for certain crimes.
Hurt cosponsored the Balanced Budget Amendment, which did not pass the House of Representatives in November 2011. Hurt said of the bill, "By passing a Balanced Budget Amendment, Congress will be required to spend no more than it takes in, reining in out of control spending once and for all"Hurt also sponsored the Small Business Capital Access and Job Preservation Act that would exempt private equity funds advisers from certain registration and reporting standards. In July, 2011 Hurt sponsored the Market Transparency and Taxpayer Protection Act which would "protect the taxpayers of the United States by requiring Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to sell or dispose of the assets of such enterprises that are not critical to their missions." However, because very little political leverage was used to pass this legislation, it most likely will die in committee. Hurt's position on Government regulation is clear in his statement that "By reducing the unnecessary government regulations that hinder small businesses, keeping taxes low and allowing people to keep more of what they make, and cutting spending to get our fiscal house in order, the private sector will gain the confidence necessary to expand and create the jobs that the people of the 5th District need and deserve."
During 2000–2010, the Virginia League of Conservation Voters gave Hurt an average approval rating of 40%.However, in 2010, when Hurt was running against incumbent Tom Perriello, the Sierra Club and League of Conservation Voters released television and radio ads against Hurt, attacking him on an alleged conflict of interest regarding uranium mining, because his father was a founding investor in Virginia Uranium and Hurt had accepted money from uranium mining interests. Hurt strongly opposed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's 2009 proposed "Cap-and Trade" climate control legislation. Hurt called on the Virginia Department of Interior secretary Ken Salazar to remove bans on off-shore drilling and development.
Hurt has made it a priority to rein in federal regulation of the private sector. Hurt cosponsored the Farm Dust Prevention Regulation Act,the Preserving Rural Resources Act, and the Supporting Home Owner Rights Enforcement Act. He has voted to ensure that cost-benefit analysis is applied to federal rulemaking and he has voted to roll back currently proposed regulations. Hurt has been a staunch opponent to the Affordable Care Act, of which he says, "The President's health care law represents a fundamental departure from the founding principles of our nation by placing more faith in government than in the American people and by inserting the federal government in between patients and their doctors."
The following is an incomplete list of major bills sponsored by Rep. Hurt.
|2001||Robert Hurt||11,853||65%||Randy Collins||6,382||35%|
|2003||Robert Hurt||8,744||62%||Kimble Reynolds, Jr.||5,441||38%|
|2005||Robert Hurt||12,821||99%||no candidate||Write-ins||123||1%|
|2007||Robert Hurt||29,735||76%||Sherman Witcher||Independent||9,488||24%|
|2010||Robert Hurt||119,560||51%||Tom Perriello||110,562||47%||Jeffrey Clark||Independent||4,992||2%|
|2012||Robert Hurt||193,009||55%||John Douglass||149,214||43%||Kenneth J. Hildebrandt||Independent Green||5,500||2%|
|2014||Robert Hurt||124,735||60.9%||Walter Lawrence Gaughan||73,482||35.9%||Kenneth J. Hildebrandt||Independent Green||2,209||1.1%|
In 2018, Hurt sought to be nominated as a U.S. District Judge for the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia.The nomination went to U.S. Attorney Thomas T. Cullen, who was confirmed on September 10, 2020. As of Fall 2019, Hurt serves as the Residential Dean at the Helms School of Government at Liberty University
Hurt lives in Chatham.Hurt is a member of Chatham Presbyterian Church and Chatham Rotary Club. Also, he is a member of the Board of Directors of the New College Institute, the Virginia Bar Association's Board of Governors, the Hampden-Sydney Wilson Center Advisory Board, the John Marshall Foundation Board, the Board of Directors of Roman Eagle Nursing Home and the board of directors of the W. E. Skelton 4-H Conference Center at Smith Mountain Lake. His brother, Charles Hurt, is a journalist and political columnist for the Washington Times . Hurt gave the commencement address at Piedmont Virginia Community College in May 2011.
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|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives |
from Virginia's 5th congressional district
January 3, 2011 – January 3, 2017
|112th||Senate: J. Webb | M. Warner||House: F. Wolf | J. Moran | B. Goodlatte | B. Scott | E. Cantor | R. Forbes | R. Wittman | G. Connolly | M. Griffith | B. Hurt | S. Rigell|
|113th||Senate: M. Warner | T. Kaine||House: F. Wolf | J. Moran | B. Goodlatte | B. Scott | E. Cantor (until Aug. 2014)| R. Forbes | R. Wittman | G. Connolly | M. Griffith | B. Hurt | S. Rigell | D. Brat (from Nov. 2014)|
|114th||Senate: M. Warner | T. Kaine||House: B. Goodlatte | B. Scott | R. Forbes | R. Wittman | G. Connolly | M. Griffith | B. Hurt | S. Rigell | D. Brat | D. Beyer | B. Comstock|