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My Story

Born and raised in Chesapeake, Virginia, Randy Forbes has never forgotten who he is or where he came from. Growing up as the son of a WWII Normandy veteran, Randy was raised on the values of duty, hard work, family, and faith. He carried those principles with him to Randolph-Macon College, where he graduated as valedictorian of his 1974 class, and throughout his years at University of Virginia School of Law. Today, Randy continues to live out those values in the U.S. House of Representatives, working every day for the people of Virginia.

Since first elected to Congress in 2001, Randy’s highest priority has been to protect and defend our nation, the fundamental freedoms it was founded upon, and the men and women who fight for those freedoms. As Chairman of the House Armed Services’Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, Randy is one of the nation’s most forceful advocates for a strong national defense. He is recognized across the country as a champion for our active duty warfighters, our veterans, and their families. As a result of his dedicated efforts, Chairman Forbes is one of the few individuals to be honored with the highest civilian awards offered by both the United States Army and the United States Navy.

In addition to his work on national defense, Randy is bipartisan champion of job growth and small businesses. He believes that bureaucrats don't create jobs, small businesses do -- and Washington needs to get out of the way. Consequently, Congressman Forbes has pushed for cutting pointless regulations that cripple job creators, and abolishing the current, overly complex tax code and starting over with a simpler, steadier, fairer system.

Rejecting typical Washington political rhetoric, Randy prefers solutions over soundbites and is known for his commonsense-style leadership in tackling issues from economic growth to tax reform to government spending. Named “Hero of Taxpayers” and “Guardian of Small Business,” he is one of only 17 out of 435 Members of Congress to vote against all stimulus and bailout packages under both Presidents Bush and Obama. He has introduced legislation tying Members of Congress' salaries to government spending -- so the more they spend, the less they make. Randy has worked aggressively towards cutting back on duplicative government programs, balancing the budget, and reining in the national debt. As a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee, where he formerly served as Ranking Member of the Crime Subcommittee, Randy can often be found leading the debate on national issues like securing the border, ending the conversation on amnesty, and increasing accountability for the Administration and other Washington officials.

While his legislative proposals have received significant national attention, Randy places a high-priority on partnering with community leaders and officials to bring about greater economic prosperity, increased educational opportunities, and improved local infrastructure for the Fourth District. As the Richmond Times Dispatch once noted, Randy has “earned a reputation for constituent service” for his unparalleled constituent communications ability to cut through red tape.

Randy began his career in private law practice, ultimately becoming a partner in the largest law firm in southeastern Virginia. From 1989-2001, he served the Commonwealth of Virginia in the General Assembly.

A typical Sunday morning will find Randy either on one of the pews of Great Bridge Baptist Church with his wife Shirley by his side or in a classroom, teaching the adult Sunday School class he has enjoyed leading for 20 years. Randy and Shirley have four children and three grandchildren, which Randy personally regards as his greatest achievement.

Quick Facts:

  • Born February 17, 1952 in Chesapeake, VA
  • Married to Shirley since 1978.
  • 4 children and 3 grandchildren.


  • Great Bridge High School Class of 1970
  • Valedictorian of Class of 1974 at Randolph-Macon College
  • J.D., University of Virginia School of Law, 1977

Public Service

  • Virginia House of Delegates (1990-1998) *House Floor Leader
  • Virginia State Senator (1998-2001)*Senate Floor Leader
  • U.S. House of Representatives (June 19, 2001 – Present) *Chairman of the Seapower Subcomittee of the House Armed Services

Work in the U.S. House of Representatives:

 Congressional Committees

 Senior Member of the House Armed Services Committee

Senior Member of the House Judiciary Committee

  • Member of the Subcommittee on the Constitution
  • Former Ranking member of the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security

Congressional Caucuses  

Key Awards

  •  U.S. Navy’s Distinguished Public Service Award
  •  U.S. Army’s Distinguished Civilian Service Award
  •  U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Spirit of Enterprise Award
  •  Americans for Tax Reform’s Hero of the Taxpayer Award
  •  National Federation of Independent Business’ Guardian of Small Business Award
  •  NAACP’s 21st Century Leadership Award
  •  American Farm Bureau Federation’s Friend of Farm Bureau Award
  •  60 Plus Association Guardian of Senior’s Rights Award
  •  American Conservative Union’s Conservative Award 

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