James Webb

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U.S. Senator

James Webb




Leadership: No leadership position
Committees: Senate Committee on Armed Services, Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs
(subcommittees and past assignments)

Candidates for the VA-Senate Class I Seat:
(Next election: 6 November 2012)

Confirmed: None so far
Considering: None so far
Rumored: None so far
Potential: None so far
Dropped-out: None so far
(more info and editing for the VA-Senate Class I Seat)
On the Web
Official website

James "Jim" Webb is the Junior Senator for the state of Virginia. He is a Democrat and was first elected in 2006.


Record and controversies

Congressional scorecards

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Organization 2007 Scorecard
Score - Agree ratio
2008 Scorecard
Score - Agree ratio
American Civil Liberties Union not avail. not avail.
American Conservative Union not avail. not avail.
AFSCME not avail. not avail.
Americans for Democratic Action not avail. not avail.
Club for Growth not avail. not avail.
Drum Major Institute not avail. not avail.
Family Research Council not avail. not avail.
Information Technology Industry Council not avail. not avail.
League of Conservation Voters not avail. not avail.
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People not avail. not avail.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce not avail. not avail.

Iraq War

The chief focus of Webb's campaign was the war in Iraq. Webb opposed the Iraq War from the beginning, stating in a 2002 speech to the Naval Postgraduate School, "We should not occupy territory in Iraq. Do you really want the United States on the ground in that region for a generation? I don't think Iraq is that much of a threat." [1] Webb has described security policy under President Bush as "a complete failure" and favors a withdrawal of troops from Iraq. [2] Webb's son is a Marine currently deployed in Iraq.

For more information see the chart of U.S. Senate votes on the Iraq War.

Environmental record

For more information on environmental legislation, see the Energy and Environment Policy Portal

Previous Statements on Women in Combat

Five female graduates of the United States Naval Academy held a press conference decrying an article written by Webb in 1979, entitled "Women Can't Fight". The women said Webb's article contributed to an air of hostility and harassment towards women at the academy. Webb later received an endorsement from nine military women who state that Webb is a "man of integrity" who "recognizes the crucial role that women have in the military today". Navy Capt. Barbara Brehm, who supports Webb, noted, "American military women have moved beyond Jim Webb's ... article."[3]


Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va) has introduced a bill which would seek to prohibit the President from invading Iran with any funding, without congressional approval. [4]

Top aide charged with trying to carry loaded pistol into Senate building

On March 27, 2007, it was reported that Webb’s top aide was charged and imprisoned for attempting to carry a loaded pistol and extra ammunition into a Senate office building. [5]

According to authorities, Webb’s aide, Phillip Thompson, told police that the gun belonged to Webb. Thompson explained that he forgot that the gun was in a briefcase and meant no harm, they said. [6]

Thompson, 44, a longtime friend of Webb's and the senator's executive assistant, was jailed pending an appearance today in D.C. Superior Court. He was charged with carrying a pistol without a license and possessing an unregistered firearm and unregistered ammunition. [7]

Webb, a supporter of gun rights, declined to comment on the case or explain whether he wanted the gun in the Russell building. Jessica Smith, Webb’s, communications director, sent out a prepared statement saying the episode was a “mistake.” [8]

"To our knowledge, this incident was an oversight by the Senator's aide," Smith said. "Phillip Thompson is a former Marine, a long-term friend and trusted employee of the Senator. We are still awaiting facts." [9]

On March 28th, 2007, Philip Thompson was released on his own recognizance. He is due back in court in May when he will face a possible sentence of up to 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Sen. Webb has distanced himself from the incident saying, “I have never carried a gun in the Capitol complex and I did not give the weapon to Phillip Thompson.”

On April 27, 2007, all charges were dropped against Thompson. [1]

On June 17, 2007, Sen. Webb admitted that the gun his aid carried into the Russel building was indeed his gun, however, he also stated that he did not ask his aid to do anything with the weapon nor did he know why it was in Thompson's possession at all.[2]


Born into a military family, Webb began his college career at the University of Southern California before transferring to the United States Naval Academy. After his graduation, he was commissioned as an officer in the Marine Corps and fought in Vietnam. In Vietnam Webb "served as a rifle platoon and company commander".[10] Webb was forced to retire from the military after suffering debilitating shrapnel wounds.[11] In his service Webb was awarded the Navy Cross, the Silver Star, two Bronze Stars and two Purple Hearts.

Upon being discharged, he earned his Juris Doctor from Georgetown University and went to work as a counsel on the House Veterans Affairs Committee from 1977-1982.[12] In 1984 Webb went to work in Reagan Administration as the nation's first Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs. He served there until 1987 when he was appointed to serve as Secretary of the Navy. Webb served as Navy Secretary for one year when he resigned after refusing to sign off on reducing the size of the Navy.[13]

Throughout his career Webb has been a prolific writer. His fiction books include the 1978 Fields of Fire, which is on the recommended reading list for Marines[14], A Sense of Honor, A Country Such as This, Something to Die For, The Emperor's General, and Lost Soldiers. Webb also penned a non-fiction book detailing the history of the Scots-Irish contribution to American society titled Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America. Born Fighting is also the slogan for Webb's Senate run. Webb also wrote the screenplay for the 2000 movie Rules of Engagement.

2006 Senate race

On February 7, 2006, Webb announced that he would run for Sen. George Allen's Senate seat. [15] Webb entered a primary race facing one other Democrat, businessman Harris Miller. On June 13, Webb won the primary with 53.5% of the vote. [16] Allen had expected a fairly easy reelection race, but a combination of missteps, verbal gaffes, [17][18], and the difficulty of attacking Webb, a former Republican and decorated Marine, as a stereotypical liberal made the race increasingly tight.

In the general election of November 7, Webb narrowly defeated Allen, winning 1,172,671 votes (49.6% of votes cast) to Allen's 1,165,440 (49.3%).[19] Election Night ended with two Senate seats--and the Republicans' control of the Senate--up in the air. The next day, Montana Sen. Conrad Burns (R-Mont.) conceded his race to Jon Tester, meaning that the Virginia race, still too close to call, would determine which party controlled the Senate.

Pundits believed that Allen, who barely trailed Webb with almost all votes counted, would request a recount. However, Allen conceded to Webb the next day, Thursday, November 9. [20]


Webb's economic platform "borrows from the Two Americas theme" of former Vice-Presidential candidate John Edwards. [21] He is a strident critic of free trade policies and often applies populist rhetoric about jobs and the economy to his stump speeches. Webb opposes gun control, supports abortion rights, and supports civil unions for gay couples. [22]

2007 State of the Union response

On January 16, 2007, Webb was chosen to give the official Democratic response to President Bush's January 23, 2007 State of the Union address. [23]

Money in politics

This section contains links to – and feeds from – money in politics databases. For specific controversies, see this article's record and controversies section.

Campaign contribution data could not be found.

Links to more campaign contribution information for James Webb
from the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org site.
Fundraising profile: 2008 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by organization/corporation: 2008 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by industry: 2008 election cycle Career totals

Committees and Affiliations


Committees in the 110th Congress (2007-2008)

More Background Data

Background information on George Allen, whom James Webb challenged in the 2006 congressional elections:


DC office
  • 248 Russell Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510
    Ph: 202-224-4024 Fax: 202-228-6363
    Webform email
District offices
  • Suite 120, 222 Central Park Ave., Virginia Beach, VA 23462
    Ph: 757-518-1674 Fax: (none entered)
  • 507 East Franklin Street, Richmond, VA 23219
    Ph: 804-771-2221 Fax: (none entered)
  • Building C, Suite 101, 3140 Chaparral Drive, Roanoke, VA 24018
    Ph: 540-772-4236 Fax: (none entered)
On the Web
Campaign office
  • No campaign website entered.
  • No campaign webform email entered.
  • No campaign office information entered.

Articles and resources


Local blogs and discussion sites


Articles by James Webb

Semantic data (Edit data)