New Members 2010 - Pennsylvania

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SEN.-ELECT PAT TOOMEY (R-PA.)

Date of Birth: Nov. 17, 1961
Birthplace: Rhode Island
Residence: Zionsville, Pa.
Occupation: President of Club for Growth, 2005-2009
Education: B.S., Harvard University 
Previous Office Held: Member of U.S. House, 1999-2005
Family: Wife, Kris; three children

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The second time was the charm for Pat Toomey, who lost a Senate race to Republican-cum-Democrat Arlen Specter in 2004. Now he holds Specter’s seat.

Toomey served three terms in House before he lost the 2004 Senate race. He then became president of the right-leaning Club for Growth in 2005, an organization that advocates limited government and has supported conservative candidates.

Toomey is strongly conservative. Based on his three terms in Congress, the American Conservative Union assigned him a lifetime congressional rating of 97 percent.


REP.-ELECT MIKE KELLY (R-PA.-03)

Date of Birth: May 10, 1948
Birthplace: Pittsburgh
Residence: Butler, Pa.
Occupation: Owner and operator of Kelly Automotive in Butler, Pa.
Education: Graduated from Notre Dame
Previous Office Held: Butler City Councilman, Butler School Board Member
Family: Wife, Victoria; four children, four grandchildren

Mike Kelly presented himself as a wholesome All-American candidate, a small-businessman and philanthropist committed to the small town where he’s lived since he was about 10 years old. The mayor of Butler (population 15,000) even named Oct. 26, 2001, “Mike Kelly Day” for his dedication to his hometown.

A football star at Butler High School, Kelly returned home after graduating from Notre Dame in 1970 to join the family’s Chevrolet-Cadillac dealership. He bought the business in 1995.

Kelly’s campaign website was dominated by economic issues: lower taxes, fewer regulations, no more wasteful spending. He vowed to work closely with his conservative heroes, Reps. Mike Pence (Ind.) and Paul Ryan (Wis.).

His most specific policy proposal is supporting a bill that would use technology from the credit card industry to root out fraud in Medicare.


REP.-ELECT PAT MEEHAN (R-PA.-07)

Date of Birth: Oct. 20, 1955
Birthplace: Cheltenham, Pa.
Residence: Drexel Hill, Pa.
Occupation: U.S. attorney, Eastern district of Pennsylvania
Education: B.A., Bowdoin College; J.D., Temple Law School
Previous Office Held: State representative, House Democratic minority leader
Family: Wife, Carolyn; three children

Pat Meehan is perhaps most famous for his role in bugging the Philadelphia mayor’s office when he was a federal prosecutor in 2003.

The corruption probe led to the conviction of several city officials and made Meehan a star. The probe also caused a political firestorm and sparked charges that Meehan was seeking to ruin Mayor John Street’s reelection chances.

But Meehan says he’s been used to public pressure since a stint as an on-ice official for the National Hockey League in his early 20s.

After managing two winning political campaigns in the late 1980s, Meehan was tapped to run Republican Sen. Arlen Specter’s 1992 reelection campaign and Republican Rick Santorum’s 1994 Senate victory. Meehan himself won election as the district attorney for Delaware County a year later. He was appointed U.S. attorney for Southeastern Pennsylvania by then-President George W. Bush in 2001.

Meehan joined the private sector in 2008 and served as a surrogate for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) during the presidential campaign that year. Meehan was touted as a potential candidate to replace term-limited Gov. Ed Rendell (D), but stepped aside in favor of state Attorney General Tom Corbett.


REP.-ELECT MIKE FITZPATRICK (R-PA.-08)

Date of Birth: June 28, 1963
Birthplace: Philadelphia
Residence: Levittown, Pa.
Occupation: Attorney
Education: B.A., St. Thomas University; J.D. ,Dickinson School of Law
Previous Office Held: U.S. House of Representatives, 2005-2007
Family: Wife, Kathleen; six children

Mike Fitzpatrick jumped into the 2004 House race after six-term Republican Rep. Jim Greenwood abruptly pulled out. He served one term in the House, then narrowly lost in 2006 to Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy.

After losing to Murphy four years ago, Fitzpatrick returned to practicing law. In the fall of 2007, he helped get a ballot initiative passed authorizing Bucks County to borrow $87 million for open-space preservation, part of a long-term initiative there to preserve thousands of acres of land from development. He also has been involved in upgrading the county’s 911 system and a five-county anti-terrorism task force.


REP.-ELECT LOU BARLETTA (R-PA.-11)

Date of Birth: Jan. 28, 1956
Birthplace: Hazelton, Pa.
Residence: Hazelton, Pa.
Occupation: Mayor of Hazelton
Education: Attended Bloomsburg State College and Luzerne County Community College
Previous Office Held: Mayor of Hazelton, 2000-present 
Family: Wife, Mary Grace; four children

Known for his vocal opposition to illegal immigration, Lou Barletta has vowed to appeal a federal court ruling upholding a decision declaring the city’s illegal-immigration ordinance as unconstitutional.

The ordinance called for fining landlords who rented to illegal immigrants and revoking the business licenses of any employer found hiring illegal workers. The court was concerned that the ordinance stripped away protections afforded to businesses that are accused of hiring illegal workers, as well as anti-discrimination protections afforded to employees who appear to be “foreign.”

With property tax limits lifted for the city, Barletta raised property and income taxes to make up for more than $900,000 in the city’s declining tax revenues and higher health insurance and other costs.

This year’s campaign was his third run for a seat in the House. He previously ran in 2002 and 2008, losing both times to long-time incumbent, Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D). He lost by 13.2 percentage points in 2002 but narrowed that margin in 2008 to 3.2 percentage points.


REP.-ELECT MARK CRITZ (D-PA.-12)

Date of Birth: Jan. 5, 1962
Birthplace: Irwin, Pa.
Residence: Johnstown, Pa.
Occupation:  U.S. Congressman
Education:  B.S., Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Previous Office Held:  District director, Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), 1998-2010
Family:  Wife, Nancy; two children

Mark Critz first won the 12th district seat in a hard-fought special election in May following the death of Rep. John Murtha (D), his former boss.

Critz had served as Murtha’s district director for more than a decade and jumped into the race after Murtha’s widow decided not to run. He faced businessman Tim Burns in a campaign where each party spent more than $1 million. Critz defeated Burns by eight points in the special election and then beat him in a rematch in the fall.

Burns pushed for tax cuts and smaller government, and, like other GOP candidates, tried to tie Critz to unpopular Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

But Critz touted an independent record during his few months in Congress, when he opposed Democratic leadership on major bills and spoke out against the healthcare law and cap-and-trade legislation.