~Former military officer and state legislator to remain in public service~
Contact: Richard L. Anderson, Cell: 703-282-9653
WOODBRIDGE – Today, former Virginia state delegate and retired 30-year Air Force Colonel Richard L. (Rich) Anderson announced that he is a candidate for election as chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV). This year, Virginia Republicans will elect a state party chairman for a four-year term at the 2020 RPV Quadrennial State Convention on May 1-2 in Lynchburg.
A native Virginian, Anderson holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Virginia Tech and a master’s degree in Public Administration from Webster University. He is a graduate of the Air War College, the Air Command and Staff College, and the Joint Forces Staff College. He is also a graduate of the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at the University of Virginia, where he sits on the Sorensen Statewide Advisory Board. He is also a member of the Stratford University Board of Trustees.
Anderson served from 1979 to 2009 as an Air Force officer, retiring from the Pentagon as a full colonel after a 30-year military career. For the first half of his career, he served in the missile and space career field, leading intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launch crews and combat organizations. During the second half of his career, he was assigned to the Air Force International Affairs career field and led organizations that shaped Air Force partnerships with the air forces in the 43 countries in the Asia-Pacific theater of operations. During his eight years at the Pentagon, he served on the staff of the Secretary of the Air Force and in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
After his military retirement in early 2009, Anderson was elected in November 2009 to represent the 51st House District (Prince William County) in the Virginia General Assembly. He served for four terms (2010-2018) and chaired the House Science and Technology Committee and the General Assembly Military and Veterans Caucus. He also sat as a member of the House Appropriations Committee, House Finance Committee, House General Laws Committee, and House Transportation Committee. He also chaired the General Assembly Military and Veterans Caucus, the legislative clearinghouse for bills impacting 800,000 Virginia veterans and 50,000 veterans in Prince William County.
Outside of his House committee assignments, Anderson served as chair of the Joint Commission on Technology and Science (JCOTS) and as chair of the Virginia War Memorial Board. He also sat as a member of the Virginia State Crime Commission and the Virginia Commission on Youth. He holds an FAA commercial pilot certificate with more than 2,000 flying hours and chaired the General Assembly Aviation Caucus. He served for three years as National Commander of the 60,000-member United States Air Force Auxiliary (Civil Air Patrol) and currently sits on the boards of the Virginia Aviation Business Association (VABA), the Virginia Aeronautical Historical Society (VAHS), and the Manassas-based Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM).
As a private citizen, Anderson has focused his attention on community service in Prince William County. He continues to work on veteran issues as chair of the Potomac Region Veterans Council (PRVC), which advocates for 200,000 veterans in the Northern Virginia region. He is also a life member of Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 1503, American Legion Post 364, and Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Chapter 48, all in Woodbridge. He also sits on the Freedom Museum Board of Directors, the Prince William Salvation Army Advisory Council, and the Youth for Tomorrow Board of Advisors.
In announcing his candidacy, Anderson stated that “public service is all I’ve known for 30 years as an Air Force officer and eight years as a Virginia state legislator. I will continue the fight for making life better in Prince William County and across Virginia for working families.”
Anderson further stated that “for 250 years, political life in our country has been a cyclical business that is marked by a political pendulum that swings back and forth between the two major parties. If elected to lead the Republican Party of Virginia, I will focus 16-18 hours every day, seven days a week, on swinging the pendulum as heavily and swiftly as possible back to the party of Lincoln. We will have but one goal: The sure election of Republican candidates and the swift defeat of Democrat candidates.”
Anderson and his wife, Ruth, reside in Woodbridge. Ruth is a retired 21-year Air Force lieutenant colonel, former Occoquan District Supervisor on the Prince William Board of County Supervisors, and former chair of the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission (OmniRide). They are members of Lake Ridge Baptist Church in Woodbridge and have three children and four grandchildren.