As a successful businessman and former Mayor of Herndon, Tom Rust has the background and experience to get things done for us. First elected to the House of Delegates in 2001, Tom is recognized as one of the most effective legislators in the Virginia General Assembly, consistently gaining high marks from the nonpartisan Virginia Foundation for Research and Economic Education (Virginia FREE). Tom serves on four committees including the Commerce and Labor, Education, Transportation and Science and Technology Committees in the House of Delegates.
Through his tenure in the House of Delegates, Tom has championed legislation to create new jobs and expand economic opportunity, improve public and higher education, and invest in transportation. Tom has worked hard to make Virginia a national leader in job creation and one of the best states in America to do business.
Tom worked with Governor McDonnell on the transportation issue and helped pass the largest transportation funding increase in recent history without raising taxes, balanced five state budgets, and has continued to protect taxpayers by adding $114 million in 2011 to the Rainy Day Fund. As a result, Virginia’s economy has grown faster than the national economy and Virginia continues to have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country. Virginia has also maintained its AAA bond rating through these difficult economic times.
Tom also served on the Governor’s Higher Education Commission which enacted the “Top Jobs” legislation in 2011 of which Tom was a co-patron. The legislation will put increased emphasis on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), increase access, set a goal of 100,00 new degrees by 2025 and slow the increase in tuition. This bill will also place new emphasis on graduation rates with accompanying financial incentives.
Tom was chosen one of the “Most Influential People of the Century” by the Reston Times. The Washington Post has called Tom “one of the more effective lawmakers in the General Assembly.” Tom has been recognized for his leadership by many different groups as shown by his list of awards and recognitions.
Tom graduated from Herndon High School and went on to attend Virginia Tech where he received a B.S. in Civil Engineering. He also earned a Master of Science in Public Works Engineering degree from George Washington University and a Master of Planning in Urban and Environmental Planning from University of Virginia. Before being elected Delegate, Tom served on the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors from 1996 to 2001 and was Vice-Rector from 1999 to 2001. He also served on the Longwood College Board of Visitors from 1980 to 1988 and its Rector from 1981 to 1988.
Tom has been a longtime community leader in Northern Virginia, where he has served on numerous civic and charitable boards. Some of the boards Tom has served on include Jeanie Schmidt Free Clinic, Northern Virginia Transportation Authority, Northern Virginia Community Foundation, Fairfax-Falls Church United Way (Former Chairman, Executive Committee), Downtown Herndon, Incorporated (Founding Director) and numerous others. For his service to the community he has received several awards and endorsements including 2011and 2005 Legislative Leader (Virginia League of Conservation Voter), Lifetime Achievement Award for Public Service(Dulles Regional Chamber) and 2011 Legislator of the Year (American Planning Association) . Tom is married to Ann and has two stepsons, a daughter and two grandchildren.