Bobby Scott (politician)
|Chair of the House Education and Labor Committee|
|Assumed office |
January 3, 2019
|Preceded by||Virginia Foxx|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Virginia's 3rd district
|Assumed office |
January 3, 1993
|Preceded by||Thomas Bliley|
|Member of the Virginia Senate|
from the 2nd district
January 12, 1983 – January 3, 1993
|Preceded by||Herbert Bateman|
|Succeeded by||Henry Maxwell|
|Member of the Virginia House of Delegates|
January 11, 1978 – January 12, 1983
Serving with Ted Morrison & Alan Diamonstein
|Preceded by||Lewis McMurran|
|Succeeded by||Mary A. R. Marshall|
|Constituency||49th district (1978–1982)|
48th district (1982–1983)
Robert Cortez Scott
April 30, 1947
Washington, D.C., U.S.
|Education||Harvard University (BA)|
Boston College (JD)
|Branch/service||United States Army|
|Years of service||1970–1973 (Massachusetts National Guard)|
1973–1976 (Army Reserve)
Robert Cortez Scott (born April 30, 1947) is an American lawyer and politician serving as the U.S. representative for Virginia's 3rd congressional district since 1993. A member of the Democratic Party, he is the dean of Virginia's congressional delegation. The district serves most of the majority-black precincts of Hampton Roads, including all of the independent cities of Franklin, Newport News (where he resides) and Portsmouth, parts of the independent cities of Chesapeake, Hampton, Norfolk and Suffolk and all of Isle of Wight County. Since 2019, Scott has chaired the House Education and Labor Committee.
Early life, education and legal career
Scott was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up in Newport News, Virginia. He is of African American and Filipino descent. His father, Charles Waldo Scott, was a pioneering African American surgeon and in 1952 became the first African American appointed to the Newport News school board in the 20th century. Scott's mother Mae Hamlin-Scott, a graduate in chemistry of the University of Michigan, was an educator who taught science in the Newport News public schools.
Scott graduated from Groton School in 1965. He received his B.A. in government from Harvard College in 1969 and his Juris Doctor from Boston College Law School in 1973. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.
Scott was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates as a Democrat in 1977 and to the Senate of Virginia in 1982, after a census-based reapportionment changed district numbers (thus, his nominal predecessors were in fact representatives from Northern Virginia). In the Virginia legislature, Scott worked to allow the poor and children greater access to health care, as well as to increase the minimum wage, and increase job training. He also authored legislation providing tax credits to business that provide donations to serving local communities in preventing crime or improving social service delivery.
U.S. House of Representatives
In 1992, the Department of Justice directed the Virginia legislature to draw a black-majority district after the 1990 census. The legislature responded by shifting most of the black residents of Hampton Roads and Richmond into a newly created 3rd district. Scott won a three-way Democratic primary with 67% of the vote, which was tantamount to election in this heavily Democratic district. In the general election, he defeated Republican Dan Jenkins 79%-21%.
During this period, Scott was reelected every two years with at least 76% of the vote, except in 2004. That year, he was challenged by Republican Winsome Sears, a former State Delegate. He won with 69% of the vote, now the second-lowest winning percentage of his career. In 1994, Scott won 79.44% of the vote, defeating Republican Thomas E. Ward. In 1996, he won 82.12% of the vote, defeating Republican Eisle G. Holland. In 1998, he won 75.97% of the vote, defeating Independent Robert S. Barnett. He ran unopposed in 2000, 2002, 2006, and 2008.
After redistricting, Scott's district was made even safer; he picked up all of Portsmouth and Newport News, as well as Petersburg. In 2008, President Barack Obama had carried the district with 76% of the vote; Scott won the new district with 78%, defeating Air Force officer Dean Longo. He easily won an 11th term with 81.26% of the vote.
The 3rd was reconfigured as a result of a court-ordered redistricting in 2015. It lost its territory in and around Richmond to the neighboring 4th district, but the new 3rd was no less Democratic than its predecessor.
Scott defeated Republican Marty Williams, 66%-33%, the lowest winning percentage of his career.
Scott is the first African American Representative from Virginia since Reconstruction. Also, having a maternal grandfather of Filipino ancestry makes Scott the first American of Filipino descent to serve as a voting member of Congress. His congressional district is the only one with a majority black population in Virginia. It was created in 1992 and has remained the state's most Democratic district.
Scott's annual Labor Day picnic, usually held at his mother's residence in Newport News, is a major campaign stop for statewide and federal candidates in Virginia.
On November 7, 2009, Scott voted for the Affordable Health Care for America Act (HR 3962).
Scott has voted progressively in the House. He has supported increases in the minimum wage and has worked to eliminate anti-gay bias in the workplace. In 2010, Scott co-sponsored the "Lee-Scott bill" with Barbara Lee to make it easier on individuals who had been on unemployment for 99 weeks without finding work. Of the bill, Lee said, "it is important that we put in place a safety net for those still looking for work. We cannot and will not allow our fellow Americans to fall by the wayside. Congressman Scott and I plan to continue to push for passage of this legislation because it is simply the right thing to do."
Scott supports LGBT rights. In 2009, he voted in favor of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, a bill that expanded the federal hate crime law to cover crimes biased by the victim's sexual orientation or gender identity. In 2010, he voted in favor of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act. In 2019, Scott voted in favor of the Equality Act, a bill that would expand the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and urged Congress members to support the legislation.
Scott was an outspoken opponent of the Bush administration. He opposed the Patriot Act, explaining that officials could abuse the power by promoting anti-terrorist security and develop unfair "racial profiling". In 2002 Scott voted against the Iraq war resolution and did not support any of the Bush Doctrine in reference to the Iraq war.
For his tenure as the chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee in the 116th Congress, Scott earned an "A" grade from the nonpartisan Lugar Center's Congressional Oversight Hearing Index.
Scott introduced the Death in Custody Reporting Act of 2013 (H.R. 1447; 113th Congress) on April 9, 2013. The bill would require the United States Department of Justice to collect data from U.S. states and territories about the deaths of prisoners in their custody. States and territories would face monetary penalties for noncompliance. It would also require federal agencies to report on the deaths of prisoners in their custody.
- Committee on Education and Labor (chair)
- As chair of the committee, Scott has the ability to serve on any subcommittee ex officio.
- Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus
- Congressional Black Caucus
- Congressional Arts Caucus
- Congressional Cement Caucus
- Climate Solutions Caucus
- Medicare for All Caucus
U.S. Senate speculation
When then-presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton selected Tim Kaine, a U.S. Senator from Virginia, as her running mate in July 2016, speculation arose about who would be nominated to replace Kaine in the Senate should the ticket win. In August 2016, former Democratic Governor of Virginia Douglas Wilder stated that he would want Governor Terry McAuliffe to appoint Scott to the seat, stating that it "would be good for the commonwealth, good for the Democratic Party, of which Bobby has been most supportive, and great for our nation." On November 8, Clinton and Kaine lost the election and Kaine remained in his Senate seat.
2017 sexual harassment allegation
On December 15, 2017, Marsheri Everson (also known as M. Reese Everson), a former congressional fellow who had worked in Scott's office, alleged that Scott had sexually harassed her in 2013, touching her on the knee and back on separate occasions, then propositioning her with an inappropriate relationship after asking, "if you travel with me, are you going to be good?" Scott strongly denied Everson's claim.
Everson was represented by two attorneys, one Jack Burkman, known for his involvement in the conspiracy theories surrounding the murder of Seth Rich as well as his alleged involvement in a scheme to pay women to lie about sexual harassment claims against special counsel and former FBI Director Robert Mueller.
Everson's case against Scott is ongoing.
Knowledge of sexual assault allegations against Justin Fairfax
Scripps professor Vanessa C. Tyson alleged in 2019 that Virginia Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax sexually assaulted her in 2004 and approached Scott, a longtime friend, about these allegations between the time of Fairfax's election in November 2017 and inauguration in January 2018; The Washington Post also contacted Scott about the allegations. In a 2019 statement, Scott said, "Allegations of sexual assault need to be taken seriously. I have known Professor Tyson for approximately a decade and she is a friend. She deserves the opportunity to have her story heard."
|1986||Bobby Scott||63,364||44%||Herbert H. Bateman||80,713||56%||*|
*Write-in and minor candidate notes: In 1986, write-ins received 9 votes.
|1992||Bobby Scott||132,432||79%||Daniel Jenkins||35,780||21%||Write-ins||261|
|1994||Bobby Scott||108,532||79%||Thomas E. Ward||28,080||21%||Write-ins||8|
|1996||Bobby Scott||118,603||82%||Elsie Goodwyn Holland||25,781||18%||Write-ins||34|
|1998||Bobby Scott||48,129||76%||(no candidate)||Robert S. Barnett||Independent||14,453||23%||*|
|2000||Bobby Scott||137,527||98%||(no candidate)||Write-ins||3,226||2%|
|2002||Bobby Scott||87,521||96%||(no candidate)||Write-ins||3,552||4%|
|2004||Bobby Scott||159,373||69%||Winsome Sears||70,194||31%||Write-ins||325|
|2006||Bobby Scott||133,546||96%||(no candidate)||Write-ins||5,448||4%|
|2008||Bobby Scott||230,911||97%||(no candidate)||Write-ins||7,377||3%|
|2010||Bobby Scott||114,656||70%||Chuck Smith||44,488||27%||James Quigley||Libertarian||2,383||2%||*|
|2012||Bobby Scott||259,199||81.27%||Dean J. Longo||58,931||18.48%||*||Write-ins||806||0.25%|
|2014||Bobby Scott||139,197||94.43%||(no candidate)||Write-ins||8,205||5.57%|
|2016||Bobby Scott||208,337||66.70%||Marty Williams||103,289||33.07%||Write-ins||714||0.23%|
|2018||Bobby Scott||198,615||91.02%||(no candidate)||Write-ins||19,107||8.08%|
|2020||Bobby Scott||233,326||68.35%||John Collick||107,299||31.43%||Write-ins||736||0.22%|
- List of African-American United States representatives
- List of Asian Americans and Pacific Islands Americans in the United States Congress
- "3rd District of Virginia". Congressman Bobby Scott. July 1, 2014. Retrieved February 9, 2018.
- Edmund Silvestre (November 8, 2008). "Fil-Am elected to US Congress". The Philippine Star. Archived from the original on November 10, 2008. Retrieved November 8, 2008.
Jon Sterngass (January 1, 2009). Filipino Americans. Infobase Publishing. p. 107. ISBN 978-1-4381-0711-0.
- "About Dr. Charles Waldo Scott". Archived from the original on June 30, 2016.
- KNEMEYER, Nelda (January 11, 1993). "C. Waldo Scott, Civil Rights Pioneer And Physician, Dies". Newport News Daily Press.
- "Mae Hamlin Scott, Rep. Scott's mother and Mayor McKinley Price's mother-in-law, dies at age 89". Newport News Daily Press. November 25, 2010.
- "Rep. Robert C. Scott (D-Va.)". Roll Call. Economist Group. 2014. Retrieved December 18, 2014.
Military Service: Mass. National Guard, 1970-74; Army Reserve, 1974-76
"Rep. Scott, Huntington Ingalls President to Deliver Addresses at ODU's 121st Commencement Exercises". News @ ODU. Old Dominion University. November 2014. Retrieved December 18, 2014.
He received an honorable discharge for his service in the Massachusetts National Guard and the United States Army Reserve.
- Democratic Party of Virginia-Hidden History: Congressman Bobby Scott
- "Our Campaigns - VA District 1 Race - Nov 04, 1986". www.ourcampaigns.com. Retrieved February 7, 2019.
- "Our Campaigns - VA District 3 - D Primary Race - Jun 09, 1992". www.ourcampaigns.com. Retrieved February 7, 2019.
- "Our Campaigns - VA District 3 Race - Nov 03, 1992". www.ourcampaigns.com. Retrieved February 7, 2019.
- "Our Campaigns - VA - District 03 Race - Nov 02, 2010". www.ourcampaigns.com. Retrieved February 7, 2019.
- "Daily Kos Elections 2008 presidential results by congressional district (old CDs vs. new CDs)". docs.google.com. Retrieved February 7, 2019.
- "CAMPAIGN 2012: Dean Longo challenges Bobby Scott". CBS6. May 19, 2012.
- "Obama kicks off campaign in Richmond". Daily Press. May 5, 2012.
- The Almanac of American Politics, National Journal Group, 2009.
- , Project Vote Smart.
- "Barbara Lee, Bobby Scott Introduce Bill For 99ers". Huffington Post. December 20, 2010.
- Final Vote Results for Roll Call 223
- Final Vote Results for Roll Call 317
- Final Vote Results for Roll Call 217
- "House Debate on the Equality Act". C-SPAN. May 17, 2019.
- "Congressional Oversight Hearing Index". Welcome to the Congressional Oversight Hearing Index. The Lugar Center.
- "H.R. 1447 - Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved December 9, 2013.
- Kasperowicz, Pete (December 6, 2013). "House bill would require states to report on prisoner deaths". The Hill. Retrieved December 9, 2013.
- "Members". Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. Retrieved May 17, 2018.
- "Membership". Congressional Black Caucus. Retrieved March 7, 2018.
- "Membership". Congressional Arts Caucus. Archived from the original on June 12, 2018. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
- "90 Current Climate Solutions Caucus Members". Citizen´s Climate Lobby. Retrieved October 20, 2018.
- Vozzella, Laura (August 9, 2016). "Douglas Wilder wants Rep. Bobby Scott for Kaine's Senate seat". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 18, 2016.
- Flegenheimer, Matt; Barbaro, Michael (November 9, 2016). "Donald Trump Is Elected President in Stunning Repudiation of the Establishment". The New York Times. Retrieved November 20, 2016.
- "Former staffer accuses Virginia Rep. Bobby Scott of sexual harassment, Scott 'absolutely' denies claim". Richmond-Times Dispatch. December 15, 2017.
- Cummings, William (October 31, 2018). "Jack Burkman: The conspiracy theorist accused of offering money for Mueller allegations". USA TODAY. Retrieved February 9, 2019.
- Goldman, Adam (October 30, 2018). "Plot to Smear Mueller Unravels as F.B.I. Is Asked to Investigate". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 9, 2019.
- U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott knew of Justin Fairfax allegation in late 2017 — but says he had few details (Virginian-Pilot)
- Rep. Bobby Scott learned of sexual assault allegation against Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax a year ago from the accuser: Aides (ABC News)
- Dem Rep. Bobby Scott learned of accusation against Virginia Lt. Gov. Fairfax last year (Fox News)
- Virginia Rep. Bobby Scott knew of Fairfax allegations a year ago (Axios)
- "Election Statistics, 1920 to Present". US House of Representatives: History, Art & Archives. Archived from the original on November 21, 2020. Retrieved November 23, 2020.