Charles J. Colgan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Charles J. Colgan
SenCC.jpg
President pro tempore
of the Senate of Virginia
In office
January 28, 2014 – June 12, 2014
Preceded by Walter Stosch
Succeeded by Walter Stosch
In office
January 9, 2008 – January 11, 2012
Preceded by John Chichester
Succeeded by Walter Stosch
Member of the Virginia Senate
from the 29th district
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 14, 1976
Preceded by H. Selwyn Smith
Personal details
Born Charles Joseph Colgan
(1926-09-25) September 25, 1926 (age 88)
Frostburg, Maryland, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Agnes Loretto Footen
 (m. 1948; wid. 2001)

Carmen Alicia Bernal
 (m. 2008)
Religion Roman Catholic
Signature
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch United States Army Air Forces
United States Air Force
Years of service 1945–1950
Rank Sergeant

Charles Joseph Colgan (born September 25, 1926) is an American politician and businessman.

Background[edit]

Orphaned at the age of 5, Colgan was raised by his grandparents on a farm in Garrett County, Maryland.[1]

Upon his graduation from high school Colgan enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps and was called to active duty in February 1945. After graduation from basic training Colgan was stationed in Italy as part of a maintenance flight crew on a C-47.

After completing his military service Colgan returned to Maryland where he met and married his wife Agnes. In 1948, Colgan and his wife moved to Washington, D.C. He trained as an airplane mechanic working for Capital Airlines and then obtained his commercial pilots license.

Colgan Air Livery, Saab 340B

After flying as a corporate pilot, Colgan moved to Manassas, Virginia in 1964 and formed Colgan Airways operating as a flight school and fixed base operation. In 1968, Colgan expanded his business to include a regional airline which he sold to Presidential Airways in 1986. After the bankruptcy of Presidential, around 1991, Senator Colgan and his son Mike restarted air service under the new name Colgan Air with one aircraft. Colgan and his family sold the airline in 2007 to Pinnacle Airlines.[2] At the time of the sale, Colgan Air had grown from a few employees and one aircraft to 1,100 employees, 50 aircraft, and 350 flights daily to 53 cities in the North East and Texas.[2]

Charles and his wife Agnes (deceased 2001)[3] have eight children, twenty-four grandchildren, seventeen great grandchildren and counting. Colgan's descendants are well known throughout the community and operate several small businesses.

Awards[edit]

  • 1980, Virginia Aviation Hall of Fame.[4]
  • 2003, Turboprop Airline Executive of the Year Award for his accomplishments in the airline industry.[5]
  • 2005, Virginia Senator of the Year by the Virginia Transit Association.[6]
  • 2011, George Mason University (GMU) honored Colgan for his work on the development of the GMU Prince William Campus.[7]
  • Northern Virginia Community College Medallion Award for his work in building and developing the college system.[1]
  • Melvin Jones Award (the highest award for community service) from the Park West Lions Club.[1]
  • The Northern Virginia Community College Manassas Campus has a building named in honor of Senator Colgan for his work on improving higher education, Colgan Hall.

Political career[edit]

Colgan’s public service began in 1972 when he was elected to the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, where he served as Chairman for one year. In 1975, Colgan was elected to the Virginia State Senate with 61% of the vote,[8] representing Prince William County, and the Cities of Manassas and Manassas Park.

Colgan is the only Senator from Prince William County to ever serve as the powerful chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and President Pro Tempore of the Senate.[9] As a result of his senority, from 2005 to 2011 Prince William County, Manassas, and Manassas Park have received more transportation funds than any other jurisdiction in the commonwealth.

As a moderate Democrat, Colgan is well known for working on both sides of the aisle. His bipartisan leadership is well known and respected throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia; one of his greatest friends was the late Harry J. Parrish, a Republican Delegate from Manassas.[citation needed]

On January 11, 2012, after being sworn in for the 10th consecutive term of the Virginia State Senate, Senator Colgan became the longest serving Senator in Virginia State History. He is also the last remaining World War II Veteran serving in the chamber.

Political accomplishments[edit]

The Gainesville Interchange (2011) in Progress, 435 million plus in state funds

General:

Transportation:

  • Rt. 234 bypass, bypassing the city of Manassas and extending to the town Dumfries.
  • Widening Interstate 66 to four lanes from Manassas to Gainesville.
  • Gainesville interchange Rt.29/I-66 (in progress), $435 million plus and the largest project currently underway by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT).
  • Widening Interstate 95 to four lanes.
  • Additional Rail Cars for VRE.

Education:

  • In 2011 during state wide cuts, Colgan prevented cuts to K-12 education spending by $730 million.[11]
  • Several buildings on Manassas and Woodbridge NVCC campuses.
  • Worked to Establish the George Mason Prince William Campus.
  • Hylton Center for Performing Arts at GMU Prince William Campus.
  • Passed legislation to create the GMU/NIH Research Facility at George Mason University.

Veterans:

  • Introduced legislation that provided a free college education to children and spouses of police officers, firefighters and members of the National Guard who are killed in the line of duty.
  • Worked to allow local governments to exempt disabled veterans from having to pay property taxes.

References[edit]

External links[edit]