After 20 years building an automotive business in Virginia Beach, including some of Virginia’s largest Ford and Chevrolet dealerships, Rigell was approached and recruited to run for Congress. In 2010, he challenged a well-funded incumbent in Virginia’s 2nd congressional district, one of the nation’s remaining “swing districts.” Rigell won convincingly and brought to Washington a conservative foundation but pragmatic independent streak that, sometimes, frustrated his fellow Republicans and surprised his Democratic colleagues across the aisle.
In Congress, Rigell rose quickly as a voice of reason and meaningful reform. He earned a spot on the powerful Appropriations Committee. He co-founded the Fix Congress Now Caucus.
Later, Rigell leveraged his dealerships’ successes to fuel the growth of his real estate venture, Freedom Properties, which owns and manages commercial properties in Virginia and Florida. Rrock-solid foundation of shared guiding values.
Rigell earned his bachelor’s degree from Mercer University and his master’s degree in business from Regent University. He served in the United States Marine Corps Reserve from 1978-1984.
With a track record of crossing the aisle to get results and effectively communicating with his constituents, Rigell earned a reputation as an independent thinker and leader in Washington. As a result, he soundly won each of his re-election campaigns before retiring to focus on his family and businesses. While running for re-election in 2012, he achieved 98% name recognition in his community.
Rigell’s public interviews while serving in Congress included CNN, FOX News, MSNBC, CNBC, and Bloomberg. For his leadership in sound budgeting and congressional reform, Rigell has been quoted in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Hill and POLITICO. His televised meeting with Warren Buffett in Omaha, Nebraska to discuss Rigell’s leadership in tackling the national debt garnered significant media coverage. Buffett shared that he donated to Rigell’s re-election campaign – his first to a Republican candidate. Rigell even appeared as a ‘unicorn’ type of reasoned and public official, spoofing himself and politics on late night television’s The Daily Show.