Richard Burr (born November 30, 1955) is a United States Senator from Winston-Salem, North Carolina. A Republican, Burr represented North Carolina's 5th Congressional district in the United States House of Representatives for five terms, and was elected to represent North Carolina as a U.S. Senator in the 2004 election.
Burr, a direct descendent of early Vice President Aaron Burr, graduated from Reynolds High School in Winston-Salem, N.C. in 1974 and earned a B.A. from Wake Forest University in 1978. He was first elected to Congress in 1994 as part of the "Gingrich Revolution", promising term limits. Burr has strong ties to the North Carolina Piedmont Triad Research Park, involving bio-hazard and chemical, vaccines research.
Burr cited concern for America's future as a motivator for his entry into politics. The son of a prominent minister, Burr was first elected to Congress in 1994. Burr was a businessman in Winston-Salem prior to his political career. He is a Class of 1974 graduate of the Richard J. Reynolds High School. He is a graduate of Wake Forest University. Burr was on the school football team at both Reynolds and Wake Forest.
In July 2004, Burr won the Republican primary to seek the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Democrat John Edwards. He faced Democrat Erskine Bowles and Libertarian Tom Bailey.
Burr won the election by five percentage points. Bowles' and Burr's combined campaign expenditures totaled over 26 million dollars, making it one of the most expensive Senate races in the country. Burr raised more money from political action committees, $2.8 million, than any other Senate candidate in 2004, primarily from the business community. Of the 100 largest companies in America, at least 72 contributed to Burr. Those included the PACs for such corporations as Wal-Mart, Exxon Mobil, General Motors, Ford, General Electric and ChevronTexaco.