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Two weeks after campaign win, Rigell to close auto dealership

By Ben Pershing
Ben Pershing

Rep.-elect Scott Rigell (R-Va.) has acknowledged that he plans to close an auto dealership he owns in Chesapeake, two weeks after he beat Rep. Glenn Nye (D) with a campaign message focused on his success at running a business and creating jobs.

WAVY-TV reports that Freedom Lincoln-Mercury in Chesapeake -- one of multiple dealerships owned by Rigell and his wife -- would be closing before the end of the year. Roughly a third of the dealership's 67 employees will have to look for jobs elsewhere, while the rest will be transferred to other dealerships owned by Rigell.

The station asked Rigell whether the move contradicted his pledges during the campaign to create jobs in the 2nd district, which includes much of the Hampton Roads region. "It's not a contradiction because this at the Lincoln Mercury store is so far beyond our control," Rigell responded, adding that Ford was discontinuing the Mercury line.

Rigell did not say when he knew he would have to close the dealership, though such an announcement would almost certainly have become a campaign issue had he made it before his Nov. 2 victory.

"Scott Rigell has a proven, 25-year track record of job creation, entrepreneurship and community leadership," read the coda of nearly every press release that came from Rigell's campaign. Rigell regularly contrasted his record of creating jobs with the resume of Nye, who served in the U.S. Foreign Service before being elected to Congress in 2008.

By Ben Pershing  | November 17, 2010; 11:52 AM ET
Categories:  2010 Virginia Congressional Races, Ben Pershing, Election 2010, Glenn Nye, Scott Rigell  
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