Governor Bob McDonnell was sworn in as the 71st Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia on January 16, 2010. He received nearly 59% of the vote, and the most votes of any candidate for Governor in Virginia history. As Virginia’s Chief Executive, Governor McDonnell inherited an unprecedented $4.2 billion budget deficit. He defeated a proposed $2 billion increase in the state income tax, kept existing car tax relief in place and brought Democrats and Republicans together to close the shortfall through spending reductions, and without a single tax increase.
At the same time McDonnell was successful in seeing 80% of his legislative proposals passed by Virginia’s General Assembly, which consists of a Republican House and Democratic Senate. Included in the Governor’s proposals were major education reforms to bring more charter schools to the Commonwealth and expand virtual learning programs, as well as a package of dramatic new incentives for job creating businesses to encourage economic development and job creation in the state.
Governor McDonnell has focused extensive time on job creation, and since February 71,500 new jobs have been added in Virginia, the third highest amount nationally. Virginians have recognized these efforts awarding Governor McDonnell a 63% job approval rating.
Governor McDonnell was elevated to Chairman of the Republican Governors Association on August 15, 2011 and elected to a full term as Chairman on November 30, 2011.
McDonnell has dedicated his life to public service. He served 21 years in the U.S. Army, both active duty and reserve, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1997. Upon graduating from law school in 1989 he served as a Virginia Beach prosecutor. McDonnell was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 1991 and served 14 years representing Virginia Beach. He was elected as the 44th Attorney General of Virginia in 2005. As Attorney General, McDonnell kept all seven of his campaign promises and successfully passed 92 of his 105 legislative proposals, with strong bipartisan support.
McDonnell was raised in Fairfax County. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame (BBA), Boston University (MSBA) and Regent University (JD and MBA). He and his wife Maureen have been married for 35 years. They have 5 children, ages
20-31. Their oldest daughter, Jeanine, served in the U.S. Army, including a tour of duty in Baghdad, Iraq in 2005-2006.