|Governor of Virginia|
|Elections and appointments|
|Next election||November 5, 2013|
|High school||Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology|
|Master's||University of Cambridge; George Mason University|
|Place of birth||Fairfax, VA|
|Profession||Co-founder, Wertago LLC|
Sarvis is a native of Northern Virginia. He was raised in West Springfield and graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology. Sarvis attended Harvard University and the University of Cambridge for his undergraduate studies, and received a degree in mathematics. He then expanded his academic credentials to include a Master's degree in economics and a law degree from George Mason University and New York University, respectively.
According to his 2013 campaign website, Sarvis has worked as an entrepreneur and small-business owner, a software engineer and mobile-app developer, a math teacher, and a lawyer.
- Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology
- Bachelor's degree in mathematics, Harvard University
- Master's degree, University of Cambridge
- Juris Doctorate, N.Y.U. School of Law
- Master's degree in economics, George Mason University
- See also: Virginia gubernatorial election, 2013
Sarvis is the Libertarian nominee for Governor of Virginia. He was nominated as the party's official gubernatorial candidate at a special convention on April 21, 2013. He will face Ken Cuccinelli (R) and Terry McAuliffe (D) in the general election on November 5, 2013.
Current Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell (R) was ineligible to run for re-election in 2013 because of term limits. The term limits Virginia imposes on its governors are more strict than any other state in the country: under the commonwealth's constitution, no governor may serve back-to-back terms. This means that McDonnell, unlike other governors in their first term, was ineligible to run for re-election.
There are no such term limits on the attorney general, and many were surprised at current AG Ken Cuccinelli's (R) decision to run for governor rather than seek another term. If not for Cuccinelli, outgoing Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling would have been the frontrunner for the Republican nomination to succeed McDonnell. Due to the decision by the Republican Party of Virginia to change their candidate nomination method from open primary election to closed nominating convention starting in 2013, and "tea party darling" Cuccinelli's presence in the race, Bolling withdrew his bid for the GOP nod in November 2012. . About the alternative of seeking re-election to his current post, Bolling stated that, “Under normal circumstances, I would be open to the possibility of running for another term as lieutenant governor, but I would not be interested in running on a statewide ticket with Mr. Cuccinelli.” He later said he regretted dropping out of the race as early as he did.
McDonnell had previously pledged his support for Bolling's candidacy- in part because Bolling refrained from challenging McDonnell for governor in 2009. After Bolling bowed out, McDonnell chose to endorse fellow Republican Cuccinelli for his successor, despite Cuccinelli's outspoken opposition to McDonnell's Transportation Initiative, which was considered to be the centerpiece of his gubernatorial legacy. Ironically, Cuccinelli's future general election opponent, former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe, had been equally outspoken on the issue, but as an advocate and defender of the outgoing governor's approach to amending the state's transportation funding policy. 
In response to the major party picks, the Libertarian Party held a special convention and nominated Robert Sarvis as the party's official gubernatorial candidate.
Like Cuccinelli and Sarvis, McAuliffe faced no primary contest. Days from the election, McAuliffe held a comfortable polling and fundraising lead over Cuccinelli and Sarvis. Aggregated polling data had the Democratic nominee with an average edge of seven percentage points edge over Cuccinelli-- an advantage that could be attributed in large part to female voters' 58-34 preference of McAuliffe, since he and Cuccinelli were almost neck-and-neck among men. During the last campaign finance reporting period, ending October 28, McAuliffe reported raising $8.1 million to Cuccinelli's $2.9 million, and holding $1.6 million in cash on hand, which was twice the size of Cuccinelli's warchest. Sarvis was trailing both with a reported $81,595 raised and $58,584 on hand. Hillary Clinton's decision to come out in support of McAuliffe on October 19 - marking her first campaign event appearance since stepping down as U.S. Secretary of State - further enhanced the Democrat's frontrunner status. Former President Bill Clinton threw in his support soon thereafter, followed by current President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama, who joined the McAuliffe campaign effort in the final week of the election season.
The three contenders squared off in the general election on November 5, 2013, which McAuliffe won by a margin of 2.5% percentage points, according to unofficial results.
Impact of US government shutdown on governor's race
The high profile federal government shutdown coincided with the home stretch of this year's increasingly expensive and high-profile Virginia governor race, which created a fresh backdrop for the battle between major party nominees Terry McAuliffe (D) and Ken Cuccinelli (R), and provided a brand new context in which to undermine each candidate's character and leadership potential. Each campaign released an ad the aftermath of the shutdown, which arrived on the heels of the candidates' second debate.
With the nation paying close attention to its government in light of the perceived failure of Congress to work together in the best interests of their constituents, McAuliffe and Cuccinelli's ads each highlighted features of his opponent which most closely mirrored the type of stubbornness displayed by the House and Senate leading up to the shutdown, and to which the general public was, at that moment, so sensitively attuned. That moment, to be more specific, was one month before the general election. As the competition stood, McAuliffe had an overall average lead in the polls of 5.3 points over his Republican foe.
Hoping to use the shutdown to further advance his edge by painting Cuccinelli in with the GOP ideologues in Congress, McAuliffe's ad emphasized Cuccinelli's strong ties to tea party leader U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), since Cruz was an outspoken supporter both of Cuccinelli and the far-right congressional insurgency which, in seeking to defund Obamacare, was regarded as causing the shutdown. The ad cited Cuccinelli's past effort to defund planned parenthood, apparently bringing the Virginia legislature "to a standstill," as well as claimed Cuccinelli had been sufficiently opposed to Mark Warner's 2004 budget to call for a shutdown of the state government.
Cuccinelli's ad aimed to discredit McAuliffe by referencing articles from The Washington Post and the Richmond-Times Dispatch criticizing McAuliffe's prospective budget plan - which he had allegedly threatened he would shut down the government over in order to get passed. The radio spot also accused McAuliffe of being "against compromise, against working together to find solutions,” and noted how the Democrat sided with his fellow party members in Congress who had vocally dismissed opportunities to collaborate with the Republicans to avert shutdown.
A unique opportunity was identified for the solo third party candidate in the race, Libertarian Robert Sarvis, in the shutdown atmosphere, where disillusionment with the current standard of government operation ran rampant. Had Sarvis not been barred from participating in the third debate with McAuliffe and Cuccinelli, it was thought that he could have used the reflected spotlight to lure substantial number of voters who, already frustrated by Congress' showcase of two-party gridlock, would be more sympathetic than usual to an as-yet untainted non-major party nominee.
"People are looking for other options they don't like what they have to see from those two parties and we're trying to fill that void with principled advocacy for more freedom in our economic sphere and personal lives," stated Sarvis. His passive warning about "obvious dysfunction of our [federal] government" also existing on the state and local level could have had an especially profound impact on swing voters and the average 9% of voters who were still polling as undecided at the beginning of November.
- See also: Virginia State Senate elections, 2011
Sarvis ran in the 2011 election for Virginia Senate District 35 as a Republican. He was uncontested in the August 23 primary. He was opposed by incumbent Democrat Dick Saslaw and Katherine Ann Pettigrew (I) in the November 8 general election. Saslaw defeated Pettigrew and Sarvis in the general election.
|Virginia State Senate, District 35 General Election, 2011|
|Democratic||Dick Saslaw Incumbent||61.7%||15,905|
|Green||Katherine Ann Pettigrew||2.3%||591|
Sarvis' website in 2011 lists the following issues:
- Excerpt: "Change is coming to Richmond. I am bringing to the state capital a new brand of leadership that focuses on our common priorities, solves problems in intelligent ways, avoids divisiveness and partisanship, and fosters unity, good government, freedom, opportunity, and prosperity."
- Transportation Funding Equity
- Excerpt: "Transportation infrastructure is supposed to be a major priority of our state government. So why is traffic such a mess? Because Richmond wastes taxpayer money on non-priorities and gives Northern Virginia short shrift in transportation infrastructure spending."
- Mark Center / BRAC
- Excerpt: "Let’s elect a leader who demands that any building project must take into account externalities like traffic and environmental impact and have plans to mitigate them from the outset. That’s good economics and good public policy."
- Excerpt: "Empowering parents through local control of public schools is the default rule of good government. But our state government in Richmond trampled over that rule a quarter-century ago, mandating all public schools throughout the state start the academic year after Labor Day."
- Excerpt: "I propose totally overhauling Virginia’s tax scheme, replacing it with a system designed for long-term prosperity and transparency. No more loopholes. No more group favoritism. No more carve-outs and subsidies."
Sarvis resides in Annandale, Virginia with his wife and two children.
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Robert + Sarvis + Virginia + Governor"
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- Robert Sarvis didn't cost Ken Cuccinelli the Virginia governor's race - Washington Post (blog)
- Robert Sarvis considering US Senate run against Warner - WJLA
- Virginia Governor Write-Ins: Christian Grey, Robert Griffin III, Blind Dog and ... - Patch.com
- Complete Results for Virginia Election 2013, Governor Race: We Have a Winner - Patch.com
- An open letter to Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling - Bacon's Rebellion
- When the tea party jumped the shark - Bucks County Courier Times
- Chris Christie Wisely Opted Against Campaigning With Ken Cuccinelli - Huffington Post
- There Are No ?True? Independent Voters in American Politics - Daily Beast
- A Furious Mark Levin Reacts to Republican Ken Cuccinelli's Loss in Va ... - TheBlaze.com
- Libertarian Party Leader Calls Allegation That Va. Candidate Was a Dem Plant ... - PJ Media
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- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Independent Political Report, "Robert Sarvis Receives Libertarian Party of Virginia Nomination for Governor in 2013," accessed April 27, 2013
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Sarvis for Governor 2014 Campaign Website, "About Rob," accessed May 21, 2013
- ↑ Richmond Times Dispatch, "Bolling on Cuccinelli: 'Nothing he does surprises me'," December 6, 2011
- ↑ The Washington Post, "GOP Fratricide in Virginia," December 1, 2012
- ↑ Washington Post, "Bill Bolling decides not to seek GOP nomination for VA governor," November 28, 2012
- ↑ The Roanoke Times, "Could Bolling run for governor as an independent?," November 28, 2102
- ↑ The Richmond Times-Dispatch, "Bolling regrets dropping out of the race so soon," April 22, 2013
- ↑ The Collegian, "Obama victory could cost Democrats Virginia governorship," November 15, 2012
- ↑ NBC 12- Decision Virginia 2013, "Transportation battle creates awkward political triangle," March 26, 2013
- ↑ Washington Post, "Cuccinelli vs. McAuliffe: Virginia governor’s race holds the eyes of the nation," March 29, 2013
- ↑ Independent Political Report, "Robert Sarvis Receives Libertarian Party of Virginia Nomination for Governor in 2013," accessed April 27, 2013
- ↑ Washington Post, "McAuliffe opens up double digit lead over Cuccinelli in Virginia governor's race," October 28, 2013
- ↑ The Huffington Post, "HuffPost Pollster: 2013 Virginia Governor: Cuccinelli vs. McAuliffe," accessed September 18, 2013
- ↑ Politico, "Terry McAuliffe outraises Ken Cuccinelli by $3M," October 15, 2013
- ↑ The Washington Post, "McAuliffe tops Cuccinelli in fundraising race for Virginia governor," September 17, 2013
- ↑ The Richmond Times-Dispatch, "McAuliffe maintains cash edge over Cuccineli," September 17, 2013
- ↑ The Hill, "Hillary Clinton to campaign in Virginia with McAuliffe (Video)," October 14, 2013
- ↑ Washington Post, "Obama, Biden to hit the trail for McAuliffe Va. governor bid, first lady cuts radio ad," October 29, 2013
- ↑ Associated Press - abc7.com, "Terry McAuliffe qualifies for Virginia June Democratic primary ballot," March 27, 2013
- ↑ Politico, "Virginia governor race 2013: Shutdown roils contest," October 4, 2013
- ↑ The Washington Post, "Five things to watch in the Cuccinelli-McAuliffe debate," September 25, 2013
- ↑ RealClearPolitics, "Virginia Governor - Cuccinelli vs. McAuliffe," accessed October 7, 2013
- ↑ The Washington Post, "In Virginia governor’s race, McAuliffe calls on Cuccinelli to denounce shutdown, Cruz," October 7, 2013
- ↑ Terry McAuliffe for Governor YouTube Channel, "Terry McAuliffe Radio Ad: Cuccinelli and the Architect," October 5, 2013
- ↑ CuccinelliPress YouTube channel, "Shutdown," accessed October 7, 2013
- ↑ Real Clear Politics, "Virginia Governor 3-Way," accessed October 7, 2013
- ↑ nbc29.com, "Robert Sarvis: I'm giving voters a better option," October 5, 2013
- ↑ Virginia State Board of Elections - November 2011 General Election Official Results