Nearly 10 years ago, U.S. Rep. Rob Wittman launched his career in Congress by being the calm voice in a tough room.
That experience could pay dividends in the coming weeks as the affable Republican prepares for another tough job: helping to steer the biggest buildup of the Navy fleet since the Cold War through Congress.
Back on Nov. 10, 2007, Wittman and 10 other candidates walked into a crowded high school gymnasium in Caroline County, where Republicans had called a convention to nominate someone to run in a special election for the 1st Congressional District.
With the vote split 11 ways, the convention delegates fretted, debated and cheered, but they couldn’t pick an immediate winner. It went to a third ballot, a fourth, then a fifth. The atmosphere was more like a good basketball game than a political debate.
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