John Suddarth – Army veteran, accomplished businessman, and active community leader -sought the 2018 Democratic nomination to run for Congress from the First District. He lost in the primary to Vangie Williams, whom he is now supporting to beat Rob Wittman in November.
No stranger to the First Congressional District, John is a native of Prince William County, grew up in Cherry Hill and graduated from Gar-Field Senior High School. He is a longtime resident of Hanover County where he lives with his wife of 33 years Sigrid. They have two grown sons.
A graduate of West Point, John earned a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering with a minor in economics. Following graduation, John served as an artillery officer stationed in Germany and rose in the ranks to become a captain commanding a field artillery battery in the Rapid Deployment Force. During his military career, John earned the coveted Ranger Tab and was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal.
As a civilian, John worked as an aerospace engineer at GE before attending business school at Stanford University where he earned both an MBA and a Certificate in Public Management. He went on to become a successful senior corporate executive running companies with multinational operations in over 15 countries. He has served as president of AMF Reece, Morse Controls, Humminbird and Teleflex Aerospace and Commercial Groups; he was also chief operating officer of AMF Bowling Products. Within the businesses he led, John was known as a motivator, team builder and mentor.
John founded and is the principal of Linden Tree Capital, which has equity in private companies and owns commercial real estate. In addition, he is a co-investor in and a director of Lacas Coffee Company.
An active community leader, John served as the elected Board Chair of Hanover Habitat for Humanity where he used his business experience to help the organization improve its fundraising and increase its home construction. He has also been active in the Hanover Democratic Committee, overseeing the Committee’s fundraising efforts that have enabled the Hanover Committee to become one of the state’s most generous committee contributors to Democratic candidates.
At the time he deided to run, John gave the following reasons:
“I am called to serve now because I’m deeply concerned about the direction our country is taking under Trump’s divisive right wing agenda. So many politicians seem hell-bent on reversing all the progressive accomplishments of the last 100 years.
“I will be a strong voice for: universal healthcare, an excellent education system for every child in every zip code, action on climate change, reduction of gun violence, a rational foreign policy, major investment in infrastructure and campaign finance reform so that government will hear first and foremost the voices of average Americans rather than the biggest donors. America can be a far better place to live, work, raise a family and to enjoy a healthy and prosperous retirement, but only if we embrace a progressive agenda, address our many problems and issues, and learn again to work together for the common good.”