|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 9th district
January 3, 1983 - January 3, 2011
|Member of the Virginia Senate
from the 39th district
January 8, 1975 - December 27, 1982
|George M. Warren, Jr.|
|James P. Jones|
|Born||Frederick Carlyle Boucher
August 1, 1946
Abingdon, Virginia, U.S.
|Alma mater||Roanoke College (B.A.)
University of Virginia (J.D.)
Frederick Carlyle "Rick" Boucher ( BOW-ch?r; born August 1, 1946) is an American politician who was the U.S. Representative for Virginia's 9th congressional district from 1983 to 2011. He is a member of the Democratic Party. He was defeated in the 2010 elections, while trying to be elected to a 15th term, when he was challenged by Morgan Griffith.
Boucher is a native of Abingdon, Virginia, where he currently lives. He earned his BA from Roanoke College where he was a member of Kappa Alpha Order fraternity. He received his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. He has practiced law on Wall Street initially as an associate at Milbank Tweed in the firm's New York City office, and later in Virginia. Prior to his election to Congress, he served for seven years as a member of the Senate of Virginia.
In May 2011, Mr. Boucher joined prominent Washington law firm Sidley Austin and will be leading their government strategies practice. The Internet Innovation Alliance (IIA), an industry advocacy group, also announced that Boucher has joined as the honorary chair. The IIA includes among its members AT&T and the Americans for Tax Reform and has focused on expanding broadband access and adoption with particular emphasis on increased mobile connectivity for underserved and rural communities.
Boucher was first elected to Congress in 1982, defeating 16-year Republican incumbent Bill Wampler by 1,100 votes. He was narrowly reelected in 1984, defeating Delegate Jefferson Stafford by four points, even as Ronald Reagan carried the 9th in a landslide. However, he was completely unopposed for a third term in 1986, and was reelected 11 more times without serious difficulty.
Boucher remained very popular in his district even as its socially conservative tint made it friendlier to Republicans. The GOP won most of the area's seats in the Virginia General Assembly in 2001, and has held them ever since. From 2002 to 2006, he fended off three reasonably well-funded Republican challengers with relative ease. In 2002, he defeated state delegate Jay Katzen with 66 percent of the vote. In 2004, he defeated NASCAR official Kevin Triplett with 59 percent of the vote even as George W. Bush easily carried the district. In 2006, he defeated state delegate Bill Carrico with 68 percent of the vote. He was reelected unopposed in 2008 even as John McCain carried the district with his largest margin in the state. It was generally thought that Boucher would be succeeded by a Republican once he retired.
In 2010 Boucher faced his strongest opponent to date in House of Delegates Majority Leader Morgan Griffith. Although Boucher charged that Griffith lived outside of the 9th (his home in Salem was a few miles outside the 9th), it was not enough to overcome Griffith's attacks that Boucher was an ally of Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi. Ultimately, Griffith unseated Boucher with 51 percent of the vote to Boucher's 46 percent.
Boucher served as an assistant whip from 1985 to 2010.
Boucher has been active on Internet-related legislation, including cosponsoring the High Performance Computing and Communication Act of 1991. He chaired the Science Subcommittee of the House Committee on Science and Technology and through hearings oversaw the transition of the Internet from a National Science Foundation managed government research project (known as NSFnet) to the private sector. In that role, he authored the legislation which permitted the first commercial use of the Internet. His proposals to promote competition in the cable and local telephone industries contributed to the enactment of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
Boucher originated the House Internet Caucus and served as its co-chairman (1996-2011). He also authored the Digital Media Consumers' Rights Act (DMCRA) legislation and introduced the FAIR USE Act. He was named Politician of the Year for 2006 by the Association of American Libraries' Library Journal, largely due to his efforts to protect the fair use doctrine and expand Internet technologies to rural areas.
Boucher voted in favor of the Auto Industry Financing and Restructuring Act, as well as the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. In contrast, Boucher has received a rating of "A+" from the National Rifle Association and is one of the 81 House Democrats who voted in favor of authorizing the invasion of Iraq.
In June 2009, Boucher voted in favor of the American Clean Energy and Security Act which, if enacted, would establish a cap-and-trade system. Boucher was chairman of the energy sub-committee of the previous Congress which first drafted the legislation, and was deemed to be instrumental in the bills development. Boucher opened his pre-vote remarks on the bill by saying that he was in "strong support of the bill."
In November 2009, Boucher, along with 39 other Democratic members of the House, voted against the Affordable Health Care for America Act. Also, on March 21, 2010, Boucher voted against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.
In 2007, Congress.org ranked Rick Boucher as the 10th most powerful member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
|1982||Rick Boucher||76,227||50%||William Wampler||75,009||50%|
|1984||Rick Boucher||102,446||52%||Jefferson Stafford||94,510||48%|
|1986||Rick Boucher||59,864||99%||no candidate||Write-ins||602||1%|
|1988||Rick Boucher||113,309||63%||John Brown||65,410||37%|
|1990||Rick Boucher||67,215||97%||no candidate||Write-ins||2,015||2%|
|1992||Rick Boucher||133,284||63%||Gary Weddle||77,985||37%|
|1994||Rick Boucher||153,311||59%||Steve Fast||72,133||41%|
|1996||Rick Boucher||122,908||65%||Patrick Craig Muldoon||58,055||31%||Tom Roberts||Virginia Reform||8,080||4%|
|1998||Rick Boucher||87,163||61%||Joe Barta||55,918||39%|
|2000||Rick Boucher||137,488||70%||Michael Osborne||59,335||30%|
|2002||Rick Boucher||100,075||66%||Jay Katzen||52,076||34%|
|2004||Rick Boucher||150,039||59%||Kevin Triplett||98,499||39%||Seth Davis||Independent||4,341||2%|
|2006||Rick Boucher||129,705||68%||Bill Carrico||61,574||32%|
|2008||Rick Boucher||207,306||97%||no candidate||Write-ins||6,264||3%|
|2010||Rick Boucher||86,743||46%||Morgan Griffith||95,726||51%||Jeremiah Heaton||Independent||4,282||2%|
Long considered "married to his job", Boucher announced his engagement at age 59 to Amy Hauslohner, an editor of the Galax Gazette in Galax, Virginia. Said Boucher of the engagement "We have decided since I will be 60 in August and she just turned 50 last week, we probably are mature enough to handle marriage."  Boucher and Houslohner were married on June 3, 2006.