Former Congressman Rob Simmons

Robert Ruhl Simmons was born on February 11, 1943 in New York City. He then attended Haverford College, Pennsylvania where he graduated in 1965. That same year Simmons enlisted into the US army as a Private where he attended Infantry Officer Candidate School, graduating in 1967. He went on to serve his country in Vietnam for twenty months and was awarded two bronze stars for his service. He joined the Central Intelligence Agency as an operations officer in 1969 a position he held for the next 10 years. During the same period he attended Harvard University where he got his M. P.A in 1973. For the next thirty-four years Simmons remained in the military, in the Army Reserves, where he rose in the ranks to Colonel; a position he held when he retired.

In 1974, Rob Simmons married Edith P. Heidi Simmons. She was also from Stonington. They have two children, a daughter Jane and a son Robert. Five years later, in 1979 he later joined the Staff of Senator John Chafee of Rhode Island. While working for the Senator, he was named the Staff Director on an Intelligence Committee; a position he held for five years with an impressive set of public records. At the end of his service Simmons received a series of commendations which included commendations for his “Distinguished service to the United States of America” and for his “distinguished contribution to the intelligence community.” He was also awarded a CIA Seal Medallion for his contributions to the Agency.

Back home in Stonington, Simmons was involved in his community; he headed the Stonington Police Commission and the Stonington Community Center. In 1986 he was elected to the Stonington Republican Committee serving as the committee chair for four years (1988 to 1992). During the same period of he was a Visiting lecturer at Yale University and a Teaching Assistant at the University of Connecticut.

In 1991 he was nominated to the Connecticut House of Representatives, representing his home town of Stonington and North Stonington, a position he held for five terms. His stance as liberal/moderate republican won over the mostly democrat district. He was even endorsed by Planned Parenthood. In 2001 he was elected to the US Congress representing the 2nd District for 6 years. While in congress Simmons served on the House Armed Services Committee, House Homeland Security Committee, House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and he chaired the Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information Sharing, and Terrorism.

In 2006, he lost his reelection bid to challenger Joe Courtney by a thin margin of 83 votes. He was nominated as the Connecticut’s first Business Advocate by Governor Rell in 2007 and two months later he was confirmed by both houses. In his new position Simmons’s was to be responsible in assisting in small business development.

On March 15th 2009 and Rob Simmons announced his candidacy for the Connecticut’s US Senate seat in 2010 a seat held by Senator Chris Dodd. Simmons has already started a successful fundraising campaign.