Doug Denneny

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Doug Denneny is a former Democratic candidate for the 11th Congressional District of Virginia

Douglas James "Doug" Denneny is a former Democratic candidate in the 2008 congressional elections for the 11th Congressional District (map) of Virginia. He was seeking the Republican nomination to replace retiring incumbent Tom Davis (R-VA) but lost to Gerald E. Connolly in the June 2008 primaries.


Positions, record and controversies


Denneny is in favor of "an immediate, smart, phased withdrawal from Iraq." Based on his experience as a combat veteran and work with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Senate Armed Services committee, Denneny writes that:
"I’ve been on the ground in Iraq and in the closed rooms where critical policy issues are decided. And here is the truth: This war cannot be won militarily. It will only be won when the Iraqi government acts like a democracy and makes concessions with its rival factions."[1]

While Denneny cites the valor and ability of the US military, Denneny notes that the military "will take on any mission that is given them by the civilian leadership." Although much has been written about recent decreases in violence in Iraq, Denneny believes that the United States military has given has given Iraqi political leaders the leeway to act, but that the Iraqi leadership should not be allowed to determine the deployment or re-deployment of U.S. military forces.[2]

"The status quo will result in the continued loss of thousands of our nations’ finest young Americans. It prevents development and implementation of any new successful strategies while it emboldens our enemies who are fighting against perceived US imperialism and anti-Muslim sentiment. The status quo prevents us from focusing on the real threat of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. We must move beyond the politics of division. We must find national unity after the discord of the Bush Presidency. My service in Iraq and my more than 20 years service in the U.S. military make me uniquely qualified to find this consensus."[3]

With recent Congressional Budget Office estimates putting the cost of the Iraq War at over $1 trillion dollars, Denneny argues that these funds "could have been spent on homeland security, fighting the war in Afghanistan or eliminating the Federal Budget deficit." [4]

While Denneny served as a uniform officer in the United States Navy, he argues that the Bush Administration's foreign policy could "only have been devised by civilian leaders with no history of military service," and that by relying on "military might instead of diplomatic, economic and moral leadership ," the Bush administration has gone onto make a difficult situation worse by failing to hold senior officials accountable in the wake of disclosures about prisoner abuse at Abu Graib and Guantanamo Bay. As a result, Denneny reasons that "the U.S. can no longer claim to lead the world towards a more secure and peaceful future." In terms of his Iraq policy, Denneny states that

  • "We need to explain to our citizens that there will be no military victory for the U.S. in Iraq. The future of Iraq will be determined by the Iraqi people and their politicians."
  • "Peace in Iraq can only be attained when the Iraqi civilian leaders take the lead and compromise over issues like the terms for a federal system of government and how oil revenues will be distributed between Sunni, Shiite, and Kurdish factions. "
  • "The U.S. government must demand more action from the Iraqi government by enforcing "tough-love" diplomatic and military policies. The Iraqis must meet the benchmarks set by the U.S. government and the Iraqi Study Group. Our continued support must be tied to meeting those benchmarks."
  • "We need to begin to withdraw our troops from a level of 170,000 troops today to a force of approximately 35,000 in Iraq and 35,000 in Kuwait. They will be replaced by Iraqi military and police forces. We need to keep some U.S. troops in Iraq temporarily to continue to train, equip and advise the Iraqi military."
  • "We must use our resources to ensure stability throughout the Middle East. We must rejoin with our international partners and persuade them to support overall Middle East stability." [5]


Denneny believes that ensuring access to a high-quality national public education program
"is one of the most important gifts this generation can give to future generations. As the father of a 7th grader and a 4th grader, and as someone who attended public schools from kindergarten through high school, I know the importance of public education and will fight hard to ensure that our public education maintains a high standard for this generation and for generations to come."

As a parent, Denneny favors federal oversight and accreditation of schools but believes that programs such as No Child Left Behind are in need of serious reform.[6]


As a founding member of the Fairfax League of Conservation Voters and as a member of the Fairfax County's Environmental Quality Advisory Committee (EQAC), Denneny has been a strong advocate of the Sierra Club's "Cool Counties" initiative which was recently adopted by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

Denneny has also been active in the movement to improve the Washington DC Metro subway system by building a tunnel, rather than an elevated rail through the Tyson's corner area of Northern Virginia. Although Denneny and the EQAC wrote a resolution highlighting the benefits of the tunnel option, a majority of the board members did not agree with that position and the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors officially approved the aboveground Metrorail option through Tyson's Corner.

"As a young man, and Eagle Scout, I enjoyed the outdoors as I hiked and camped with my friends and family. I learned at an early age how beautiful our Nation is, and also how fragile it is. As an adult, my love of the outdoors has continued, and I believe it is our generation’s mandate to reverse global warming. We must act now to preserve our environment for future generations. Global Climate Change is arguably the greatest challenge that our generation will face, and something we have to solve so we can save our planet for future generations. We need an Apollo program for global climate change. At the Federal level, we need to organically tackle these global warning challenges and other environmental problems. As your congressman, I will bring exceptional environmental knowledge of local issues, and a passion to solve them." [7]


Denneny believes that immigration is a federal issue that requires federal leadership. He advocates stronger border security in addition to a comprehensive approach that addresses the need for immigrant labor, the desire of immigrants to become Americans, and finding a way to integrate those illegal immigrants already here. Denneny advocates addressing laws that are "outdated and unenforceable" and calls for a comprehensive and balanced solutions to address the situation. He also advocates penalties for business owners who continue to hire illegals and supporting economic development in Latin America to stabilize the economies of those countries and stem the tide of immigrants. [8]

Also on Denneny's agenda is clearing the long list of those waiting for green cards, provide for a voluntary national ID card for people here legally to ease confusion and prove their legal status, and to provide a path to citizenship for those who come to this country as children and subsequently join the military or attend colleges or universities. Of those who wish to immigrate Denneny says:

"Simply put, people want to come to America both legally and illegally to find jobs, escape from oppression, gain an education, and improve the lives of their families and future generations. It is an understandable desire and one that my ancestors had many generations ago."[9]


Douglas J. Denneny (1962) is a retired American Naval Flight Officer and a candidate for the House of Representatives in Virginia’s 11th Congressional District. He served twenty-two years as a U.S. Naval Flight Officer, commanded a Navy fighter squadron from 2001 – 2004, and was highly decorated for flying in combat. Denneny is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Naval War College and the Armed Forces Staff College and earned an M.S. in National Security Studies from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service. He also studied international law and economics at Oxford before graduating from the University of Virginia’s Sorensen Institute of Political Leadership.

From 1984 to 1999 he served as a Naval Flight Officer, flying in the back seat of Navy F-14 fighters. During this time he was selected as the top student in his Radar Intercept Officer class, and was the 1996 Pacific Fleet F-14 Tomcat Radar Intercept Officer of the Year. He attended the prestigious U.S. Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN) and was invited back to serve as an instructor for a two-year assignment.In 1999 he was selected as a national finalist for the White House Fellowship Program, and from 1999 – 2000 he worked as a non-partisan Military Legislative Fellow on Capitol Hill for U.S. Senator John McCain.

He has deployed on aircraft carriers to conflicts involving the U.S. and Libya, Iraq, Iran and Somalia and has logged over 3000 hours in the F-14 Tomcat and over 200 hours in the new F/A-18F Super Hornet. He logged over 850 carrier arrested landings. He has served on the ground in Somalia in 1993, Iraq in 2003 and 2004, and Afghanistan in 2004.

After his service overseas Denneny worked as Special Assistant and Speechwriter for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and from 2005 to 2006 served as Deputy Legislative Assistant for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Denneny was selected to the rank of Captain (O-6) in the U.S. Navy, but declined the promotion and retired at the rank of Commander in 2006.[10]

As reported by CQ Politics: Denneny, currently works for the Boeing aircraft corporation, cited his experience working under the Joint Chiefs of Staff as one of the reasons for his candidacy. “I felt the nation was on the wrong track,” Denneny said of his time working on defense policy on the Hill. “Granted I could do good things [in the Navy], but to really make change I needed to serve as a congressman or senator.” Denneny also stated that the overarching issue of the campaign would be the war in Iraq, which he said he is uniquely qualified to address because of his years of military experience. Denneny also said he is in regardless of Davis’ plans, saying he is confident he can win either way.

“Unquestionably, voters here in recent elections have shown they are ready for change,” Denneny said. “If Tom runs, I’ll beat him. If Tom doesn’t run, I can beat any Republican contender.” [[11]]

2008 elections

Denneny was seeking the Republican nomination to replace retiring incumbent Tom Davis (R-VA) but lost to Gerald E. Connolly in the June 2008 primaries. [12]

Money in politics

Information on this candidate's 2008 fundraising is not yet available. Stay tuned for live feeds of data from the Center for Responsive Politics' site.

Current Community Activities

Appointed by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and serves on two County boards: the Environmental Quality Advisory Council and the Industrial Development Authority.

Served on the Tysons Corner Land Use Task Force (2006-07)

Elected and serving as President of the Mantua Citizens’ Association. Represents the interests of the residents of a community of over 1600 homes in Fairfax County, Virginia.

Elected and serving as Treasurer of the U.S. Naval Academy Class of 1984 Alumni organization.


Official Denneny for Congress campaign website

Doug Denneny For Congress
P.O. Box 2611
Fairfax, VA 22031

Phone: 703.352.DOUG (3684)
Fax: 703.232.1010

Articles and resources

See also


  12. “Virginia Congressional Primary Election Results” “Washington Post”

External resources

External articles