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Kathy Dahlkemper


Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 3rd district
Incumbent
Assumed office 
January 3, 2009
Preceded by Phil English

Born December 10, 1957 (1957-12-10) (age 52)
Erie, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Dan Dahlkemper; 5 children
Residence Erie, Pennsylvania
Alma mater Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
Occupation landscaping contractor,
clinical dietitian
Religion Roman Catholic

Kathleen "Kathy" Dahlkemper (born December 10, 1957) is an American politician and a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Pennsylvania's 3rd congressional district (map) since 2009. The district is based in Erie and includes most of the northwestern portion of the state.

Dahlkemper defeated seven-term Republican incumbent Phil English in the 2008 congressional elections. She is a Blue Dog Democrat, the first woman to represent the district, and one of only two women in the 19-member delegation from Pennsylvania.

Contents

Personal life/family

Born as Kathleen Ann Steenberge, she graduated in 1982 from Edinboro State College (now Edinboro University of Pennsylvania) with a degree in dietetics. She is married to Dan Dahlkemper, and has five grown children - Aron, Gretchen, Linden, Tricia, and Nathan. She and her husband currently serve on the board of the Diocese of Erie's Worldwide Marriage Encounter.

Career

Dahlkemper has worked for more than 20 years as a clinical dietitian in the Erie area. Since 1997, she has been part-owner, human resources manager and special projects director of Dahlkemper Landscape Architects and Contractors, a major landscaping firm in the area. She is a co-founder/director of the Lake Erie Arboretum at Frontier Park.

Congressional career

Dahlkemper and Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President Bill George in September 13, 2008.

Despite having never run for political office before, Dahlkemper announced her candidacy for the Democratic nomination for Pennsylvania's 3rd congressional district in October 2007. She defeated the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's favored candidate, Erie County councilman Kyle Foust, by an unexpectedly wide 19-point margin.

In the general election, Dahlkemper faced seven-term Republican incumbent Phil English. During the campaign, she attacked English for breaking his original promise to only serve six terms in Congress, and also tied him to the Bush administration. She raised $872,000 to English's $2.2 million, but was aided by large spending by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. In the November election, Dahlkemper won,in an upset, taking 52 percent of the vote to English's 48 percent. Though she won only two of the district's seven counties, Dahlkemper secured victory by trouncing English in Erie County, winning it by nearly 16,000 votes.

Dahlkemper is the first Democrat to represent what is now the 3rd District since Joseph Vigorito was toppled by Marc L. Marks in 1976, and only the third Democrat to represent the district since 1893. Although the district is anchored by heavily Democratic Erie, by far the largest city in the district (no other city has more than 17,000 people), it has historically been friendly to moderate Republicans.

After Dahlkemper was sworn in, her husband Dan was elected the first male President of the Congressional Spouses’ freshman class.[1]

Dahlkemper is pro-life[2], and was the "Hall of Fame" Award recipient at the 2009 Conference of Democrats for Life of America;[3] she is also a supporter of gun rights.[4]

Speaking of her district, Dahlkemper has stated that "It's a moderate district.... [T]o go really far to the left would not be representing it."[5] Dahlkemper supported the Stupak-Pitts Amendment, an amendment to America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 (HR 3962).

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Committee assignments

References

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Phil English
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 3rd congressional district

2009 – present
Incumbent

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