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John R. Pippy

Member of the Pennsylvania Senate
from the 37th district
Assumed office 
March 24, 2003[1]
Preceded by Tim Murphy
Constituency Part of Allegheny and Washington Counties

Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
from the 44th district
In office
January 7, 1997[2] – March 24, 2003[3]
Preceded by Ronald Gamble
Succeeded by T. Mark Mustio
Constituency Part of Allegheny County

Born December 12, 1970 (1970-12-12) (age 39)
Ubon, Thailand
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Katherine Pippy
Children Katelyn and Sean Pippy
Alma mater West Point
Profession Environmental Engineer
Religion Christian

John Pippy (born December 12, 1970 in Ubon, Thailand) is an American politician from the U.S. State of Pennsylvania. He is a member of the Republican Party and currently serves in the Pennsylvania State Senate.



Pippy was born in Thailand on a United States Air Force Base to Jack and Pensri Pippy and first entered the United States at the age of one. His father was in the United States Air Force and his mother is from Thailand. Initially after returning, the family lived in public housing in Boston. [4]

Pippy is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York with a Bachelor of Science degree in environmental engineering

After graduation, he served on active duty, assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas. After leaving active duty, he joined the Pennsylvania National Guard where he holds the rank of Major. He returned to active duty in 2003-2004 after his unit was called up to serve during the Iraq War.

He lives in Moon Township, Pennsylvania with his wife, Kathy, a political operative and lobbyist. [5]

Political career

Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Pippy was elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 1996, defeating Democrat Andrew McGraw.[6]

Prior to the 1998 elections, Democrats threatened to challenge his residency in an effort to prevent his candidacy for re-election. Their challenge was based on a clause in the Pennsylvania Constitution requiring candidates for the General Assembly to swear that they have been residents of the state for at least four years. Democrats claimed that Pippy was ineligible as he had been on active duty in Texas, was registered to vote in Texas and held a Texas drivers license. Pippy countered that because he was on active duty service, his absence fell under the "public business" exemption under the state constitution. The challenge was defused when the Assembly passed a bill which Governor Tom Ridge signed into law deleting the residency provisions from the candidate affidavit.[7]

Despite the controversy, Pippy won re-election in 1998 and was unopposed in 2000 and 2002. [8]

Pennsylvania State Senate

In a 2002 PoliticsPA Feature story designating politicians with yearbook superlatives, he was named "Most Athletic."[9]

In 2003, State Senator Tim Murphy resigned to take a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives and Pippy announced his candidacy for the seat. However, shortly after announcing his candidacy, Pippy's unit was called to active duty. This could have potentially derailed his candidacy due to military rules that do not allow active duty soldiers to actively engage in politics. [10]

Pippy initially received a ruling from the Army Reserve headquarters which barred his candidacy. However, after intervention from Rep. Murphy, Assistant Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz issued a waiver allowing Pippy to remain on the ballot. He was, however, stilled barred from campaigning for himself or exercising any duties of his office, should he win. [10]

Pippy did win the race with 67% of the vote over Democrat Paul Gitnik, but was in Aberdeen, Maryland with his unit preparing for deployment. Pippy was able to return to Harrisburg on a one-day pass in order to take his oath of office, but was required to return to active duty immediately afterward. [11]

Pippy returned home from Iraq in January, 2004 and resumed his service in the Senate. That fall, he ran for re-election, prevailing over Gianni Floro with 67% of the vote.

Pippy is Chairman of the Senate Urban Affairs and Housing Committee; Chairman of the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee; Vice Chairman of the Law and Justice Committee; and a member of the Appropriations, Banking and Insurance, Transportation and Game and Fisheries committees. He is also a member of the Advisory Boards for Penn State Beaver, the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, the Board of Directors for the Greater Pittsburgh Council/Boy Scouts of America, and the Board of Directors for the Heinz History Center. He was formerly the chairman of the American Legislative Exchange Council’s Homeland Security Task Force.

He considered a race for Lieutenant Governor in 2005, but eventually stayed out of the race. [12]

Electoral History

2004 General Election, Pennsylvania Senate, District 37

  • John Pippy - 88,306, 67.8%
  • Gianni Floro - 41,954, 32.2%

2003 Special Election, Pennsylvania Senate, District 37

  • John Pippy - 24,798, 67.6%
  • Paul Gitnik - 11,892 32.4%

2002 General Election, Pennsylvania House of Representatives, District 44

  • John Pippy - 13,431, 100.0%

2000 General Election, Pennsylvania House of Representatives, District 44

  • John Pippy - 25,494 100.0%

1998 General Election, Pennsylvania House of Representatives, District 44

  • John Pippy - 10,216, 61.96%
  • Thomas J. Fullard III - 6,273, 38.04%

1996 General Election, Pennsylvania House of Representatives, District 44

  • John Pippy - 12,961, 57.12%
  • Andrew J. McGraw - 9,730, 42.88%


  1. ^ "SESSION OF 2003 - 187TH OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY - No. 21". Legislative Journal. Pennsylvania Senate. 2003-03-24.  
  2. ^ "SESSION OF 1997 - 181ST OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY - No. 1". Legislative Journal. Pennsylvania House of Representatives. 1997-01-07.  
  3. ^ "SESSION OF 2003 - 187TH OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY - No. 21". Legislative Journal. Pennsylvania House of Representatives. 2003-03-25.  
  4. ^ Dianna Gordon, Legislative Melting Pot, State Legislatures Magazine, July/August 2002
  5. ^ Neri, Al (June/July 2004). "State Sen. John Pippy". The Insider.  
  6. ^ "John R. Pippy (Republican)". Official Pennsylvania House of Representatives Profile. Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Archived from the original on 2000-01-26.  
  7. ^ Residency affidavit pitched by GOP in a typical Harrisburg political ploy, Pittsburgh Business Times, February 20, 1998
  8. ^, Candidate Detail Page
  9. ^ "Keystone State Yearbook Committee". PoliticsPA. The Publius Group. 2001. Archived from the original on 2002-08-31.  
  10. ^ a b James O'Toole Army says Pippy can stay in race, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 15, 2003
  11. ^ Some soldiers leave behind constituents,, cached at University of Vermont, April 4, 2003
  12. ^ Pippy won't run for Lt. Gov. seat, Sewickley Herald, December 21, 2005

External links



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