Rip Sullivan

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Rip Sullivan
Member of the Virginia House of Delegates
from the 48th district
Assumed office
September 12, 2014
Preceded by Robert H. Brink
Personal details
Born Richard Cyril Sullivan, Jr.
( 1959 -03-14) March 14, 1959 (age 58)
New York, New York, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Elizabeth
Residence McLean, Virginia
Alma mater Amherst College (B.A.)
University of Virginia (J.D.)

Richard Cyril "Rip" Sullivan, Jr. (born March 14, 1959) is a Northern Virginia community activist and a member of the Virginia House of Delegates from Virginia's 48th district, which encompasses parts of Arlington and McLean. Sullivan is a member of the Democratic Party.


Rip Sullivan and his wife Beth graduated from Langley High School in 1977. After graduating magna cum laude from Amherst College in 1981, he went on to receive his law degree from the University of Virginia in 1987. Rip and Beth have four children, all of whom attended public schools in Northern Virginia. His youngest son plays baseball for the Virginia Tech Hokies.

Sullivan has practiced law in Northern Virginia for nearly 30 years, most notably with the global law firm Reed Smith LLP, where he has represented hundreds of clients in the state and federal courts. Following his election, Sullivan left Reed Smith and joined the Arlington-based firm of Bean Kinney & Korman.

Prior to becoming a lawyer, Sullivan was a principal force in creating the United States Institute of Peace. The Institute was recently in the news as the facilitating organization for the Iraq Study Group, which made recommendations to President George W. Bush for a new strategy in Iraq. Sullivan helped ensure passage by Congress of legislation to create the Institute, which President Ronald Reagan signed into law in 1986. Sullivan currently serves on the Chairman’s Advisory Board of the Institute.

Sullivan has also served on numerous local, regional, and statewide boards and commissions. Most recently he served on the Fairfax Park Authority Board. He has also served on the Northern Virginia Transportation Advisory Commission, the Fairfax Housing and Redevelopment Authority, the Fairfax Consumer Protection Commission, the Dranesville Budget Taskforce, and on the Virginia Commission for Civics Education. Sullivan is also the former president of Northern Virginia Legal Services, an organization that provides free counsel to low-income residents. Sullivan also serves on the Advisory Board of the University of Virginia's Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership.

Political career[edit]

2007 campaign[edit]

The 34th district race was one of the most expensive local campaigns in Virginia in 2007 because of Vince Callahan's political influence in Richmond. The race was targeted as a prime pickup opportunity by the Virginia Democratic Party. Democrat Margaret Vanderhye, a community activist from McLean, announced her candidacy, along with Sullivan, in the Democratic primary. In the primary election on June 12, 2007, Vanderhye defeated Sullivan by 149 votes, according to the State Board of Elections. Vanderhye went on to win the general election, but was defeated in 2009 by Republican Barbara Comstock.

2014 campaign[edit]

On June 29, 2014, Rip announced his candidacy for a special election for the House of Delegates in Virginia (the 48th district) to fill the seat of longtime Delegate Robert Brink, who resigned to take a job in the McAuliffe Administration. On July 6th, Sullivan bested six other candidates to win a firehouse primary and become the Democratic nominee for the seat. On August 19, Sullivan won in a landslide victory over opponent Dave Foster, winning by more than 24 points and winning every single precinct in the 48th District.[1]

Electoral history[edit]

Date Election Candidate Party Votes  %
Virginia House of Delegates, 48th district
Aug 19, 2014[2] Special Richard C. Sullivan, Jr. Democratic 5,978 62.22
David M. Foster Republican 3,621 37.69
Write Ins 8 0.08
Robert Brink resigned; seat stayed Democratic
Nov 3, 2015[3] General Richard C. Sullivan, Jr. Democratic 13,141 95.36
Write Ins 640 4.64


  1. ^ Michael Pope (August 20, 2014). "Rip Sullivan Wins Special Election, Turns Sights Towards Virginia Medicaid Expansion". Retrieved August 15, 2016. 
  2. ^ "2014 August Specials Town, SOV 38, HOD 48 and HOD 90 : 08/19/2014 Official Results". Virginia State Board of Elections. Retrieved August 15, 2016. 
  3. ^ "November 2015 General Election Official Results". Virginia State Board of Elections. Retrieved August 15, 2016. 

External links[edit]