Rob Simmons (born February 11, 1943), American politician, has been a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives since 2001, representing the 2nd Congressional District of Connecticut (map).
Born in New York City, Simmons was educated at Haverford College, served in the United States Army and the Central Intelligence Agency, and was a staff member for Senator John Chafee of Rhode Island, and a member of the Connecticut General Assembly before entering the House, defeating ten-term Democratic incumbent Sam Gejdenson by a slim 3,000 vote margin. Despite being in the most Democratic GOP-held seat in the nation and being targeted by the DCCC as a possible pickup, Simmons fought off a well financed challenge from Democrat Joe Courtney in 2002, easily winning 54Ô6åP> In 2004 Simmons faced a challenge from Democrat Jim Sullivan and successfully defended his seat by an 8-point margin, 54Ô6åP> In 2005, the NRCC listed Simmons as one of their most vulnerable members and his seat is still widely seen as a possible Democratic pickup in 2006. Joe Courtney, Simmons's opponent in 2002, has declared his intention to once again challenge Simmons in 2006.
Simmons is a member of the House Armed Services Committee and has been attentive to the issues concerning the district's major defense presence at the Electric Boat submarine shipyard in Groton and the nearby Naval Submarine Base New London . In 2005 the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) targeted the U.S. Navy 's New London submarine base for closure; Simmons was among the Connecticut politicians who successfully lobbied BRAC to reverse their original proposal to close the base on August 24, 2005.
Simmons is a member of various liberal/moderate Republican organizations such as The Republican Main Street Partnership, Republicans for Choice, The Republican Majority For Choice, Republicans For Environmental Protection and It's My Party Too.
Simmons, along with many House Republicans, was a recipient of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's ARMPAC campaign contributions. DeLay announced in early 2006 he was leaving Congress due to pending charges of state campaign finance law violations in Texas.
Simmons is closely aligned with fellow Vietnam War veteran, Arizona Senator John McCain, whose last minute campaign stop in 2000 may have been the decisive factor in his upset victory