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Patrick J. Toomey
Patrick Toomey Congressional portrait

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 15th district
In office
January 3, 1999 – January 3, 2005
Preceded by Paul McHale
Succeeded by Charlie Dent

Born November 17, 1961 (1961-11-17) (age 48)
Providence, Rhode Island
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Kris Toomey
Residence Zionsville, Pennsylvania
Alma mater Harvard University (B.A.)
Religion Roman Catholic
Website Toomey for Senate

Patrick Joseph "Pat" Toomey, Sr. (born November 17, 1961) is an American politician. He was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania, a Republican representing the Lehigh Valley-based 15th congressional district from January 1999 to January 2005, when he retired after running for a seat in the United States Senate. From 2005 to 2009, he served as president of the Club for Growth, a 501(c)(4) organization with an affiliated Political Action Committee, which focuses on limited government and free-enterprise advocacy.

On April 15, 2009, Toomey announced his intention to run for the Republican nomination in the Pennsylvania Republican senatorial primary. He is widely seen as a front-runner for the GOP nomination and leads incumbent Senator Arlen Specter and Congressman Joe Sestak in recent general election polling.[1][2][3]


Early life and career

Born in Providence, Rhode Island, Toomey was raised by working-class Catholic parents, and was one of six children. Through scholarships and work-study, he was able to attend La Salle Academy and later, Harvard University. After graduating from Harvard with a political science degree, Toomey was hired by Chemical Bank in 1984, where he was involved in currency swap transactions. In 1986, Toomey was hired by Morgan, Grenfell & Co., where he dealt in multiple foreign currencies, interest rates, and currency-related derivatives.[4] In 1991, Toomey resigned from the firm when it was acquired by Deutsche Bank in order to avoid the decreased flexibility and entrepreneurship that the acquisition would have caused.[4] The same year, Toomey and two younger brothers, Steven and Michael, opened Rookie's Restaurant in Allentown, Pennsylvania.[4]

Toomey often cites his experience as a small-business owner in the Lehigh Valley when criticizing what he refers to as excessive government regulation and taxes.

In 1994 Toomey was elected to Allentown's newly established Government Study Commission. During his term, Toomey drafted a new charter for the Commission requiring a super-majority for any tax increase.[5] The charter was approved by Allentown voters on April 23, 1996.[6]

In November 1997, Toomey married Kris Ann Duncan. They have two children, Bridget and Patrick, Jr.

Congressional career

In 1998, Toomey ran for the 15th District seat being vacated by the Democratic incumbent Paul McHale against state Senator and future Allentown Mayor Roy C. Afflerbach. Toomey won by an unexpectedly wide ten-point margin.

Toomey was reelected two more times by relatively comfortable margins. While the 15th has historically been a Democratic district, it has a fairly strong tinge of social conservatism due to its predominately Catholic population.

Toomey did not run for reelection to his House seat in 2004, fulfilling a pledge that he had signed in 1998 to serve only three terms.[7]

Since his first days as a freshman Congressman, Toomey has strongly advocated for deregulation of the financial services industry.[4] While serving on the House Banking Committee, Toomey, in 1999, helped write House Resolution 10, which led to the repeal of parts of the Depression-era Glass-Steagall Act.[4][5] The repeal of the Act, which had regulated the separation of banks and investment firms, allowed the creation of huge companies that combined banking and investment operations.

During the 2002 election, Toomey's website was praised as among the best of the 2002 election cycle.[8]


Campaign for Senate, 2004

In 2004, he challenged incumbent Senator Arlen Specter in the Republican primary election. Aided by $2 million of advertising from the Club for Growth, Toomey's campaign theme was that Specter was not a conservative, especially on fiscal issues.

However, most of the state's Republican establishment closed ranks behind Specter. This included Pennsylvania's other Senator, Rick Santorum.

Toomey lost by a 1.7% margin after an eleventh-hour endorsement of the incumbent, Specter, by President George W. Bush.[9]

Post-congressional career

U.S. Senate candidate Pat Toomey addresses the Philadelphia Tea Party on April 18, 2009.

In January 2005, Toomey became president of the Club for Growth, which had greatly supported his 2004 race against Specter. In August 2007, Toomey also joined the board of the Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Alternatives.

Campaign for Senate, 2010

On April 15, 2009, Toomey announced his intention to once again challenge Specter in the Republican senatorial primary.[2] On April 28, 2009, Specter announced that he was switching parties and would run as a Democrat in 2010 after polls showed him losing to Toomey in the primary[10]. Specter's withdrawal left Toomey as the front runner for the 2010 Republican nomination.[11]

Polling suggests Toomey to be the front-runner for the Republican nomination.

Political positions

Based on his three terms in Congress, the conservative American Conservative Union (ACU) has assigned Toomey a lifetime congressional rating of 97%,[12] and the liberal Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) a lifetime "Liberal Quotient" of 6%.[13]

Fiscal Issues

Toomey has been a consistent advocate of reducing and eliminating taxes. While in Congress he voted to reduce the capital gains tax, to eliminate the estate tax, to cut small business taxes, to eliminate the "marriage penalty", to first cut federal income taxes and other taxes by $958B over 10 years (the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001) and later to make these cuts permanent, to reduce capital gains and income taxes by nearly $100 billion (the Economic Security and Recovery Act of 2002), and to expand and extend multiple tax credits to individuals and businesses.[14]

Toomey has publicly opposed the federal stimulus package of 2009. He opposes government-run or subsidized healthcare. He has supported a federal balanced budget amendment.

Toomey was rated 80% by the NTU, classifying him as what the NTU considers to be a "Taxpayer's Friend" on tax votes.[14] From 1999-2004, He received a 78% rating by the Republican Liberty Caucus (RLC) on its 'Liberty Index', indicating what the RLC considers to be a libertarian-leaning voting record. In 2003, Toomey was rated 90% by the United States Chamber of Commerce, indicating what the Chamber considers to be a pro-business voting record.


He has strongly supported increased school choice and charter schools.


Toomey identifies as pro-life. He disagrees with the Roe v. Wade decision, and believes that states should be free to restrict elective abortion. Toomey received a 100% by the National Right to Life Committee, indicating what the organization considers to be a anti-abortion voting record.[15] In 2003, he received a 100% by the Christian Coalition of America (CCA), indicating what the CCA considers to be a "pro-values" voting record.


Toomey advocates the reduction of gun regulations. While serving in Congress, Toomey supported bills that would prohibit suing gun makers and sellers for gun misuse and would decrease the waiting period due to background checks from three days to one for purchases made at gun shows.[14] Toomey received an "A" by the National Rifle Association (NRA), indicating what the NRA considers to be a pro-gun rights voting record.

Gay rights

Toomey has voted to amend the U.S. Constitution to ban same-sex marriage.[14] He was rated a 13% by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in 2002, indicating what the ACLU considers to be an anti-civil rights voting record.


During Toomey's tenure in Congress, he supported legislation that would speed up approval of forest thinning projects in 2003, supported opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling and development, opposed implementing the Kyoto Protocol, and opposed legislation that would increasing vehicle fuel efficiency standards and provide incentives for alternative fuels.[14] In 2003, Toomey was given a 0% rating by the League of Conservation Voters, indicating what the organization considers to be an anti-environmental voting record.

Electoral history

Pennsylvania's 15th congressional district: Results 1998–2002[16]
Year Democrat Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct
1998 Roy C. Afflerbach 66,930 45% Patrick J. Toomey 81,755 55% *
2000 Edward O'Brien 103,864 47% Patrick J. Toomey 118,307 53%
2002 Edward O'Brien 73,212 43% Patrick J. Toomey 98,493 57% *
*Write-in and minor candidate notes: In 1998, write-ins received 21 votes. In 2002, write-ins received 8 votes.

2004 U.S. Senate election — Republican Primary


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b Turner, Trish (April 15, 2009). "Specter Faces Conservative Challenge From Familiar Foe". Fox News. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b c d e Hunter, Robert (May 1999). "Patrick Toomey: From Wall Street to Capitol Hill". Derivatives Strategy. 
  5. ^ a b Micek, John L.; Kraus, Scott; Isherwood, Darryl R. (30 Apr), "Pat Toomey's time has come", The Morning Call,,0,7770043.story 
  6. ^ City of Allentown City Clerk’s Office, ed. (2009), City of Allentown Home Rule Charter, City of Allentown, 
  7. ^ Raju, Manu (10 Dec 2008). "Specter’s future rests with Toomey". Retrieved 3 May 2009. 
  8. ^ Drulis, Michael (2002). "Best & Worst Websites". PoliticsPA. The Publius Group. Archived from the original on 2002-10-17. 
  9. ^ Rudin, Ken (April 26, 2006). "Moon Over New Orleans". National Public Radio. 
  10. ^ "Longtime GOP Sen. Arlen Specter becomes Democrat". CNN. 28 Apr 2009. 
  11. ^ Dale, Maryclaire (4 Aug 2009). "Rep. Sestak will try to unseat Sen. Specter of Pa.". Associated Press. 
  12. ^ Murdock, Deroy (23 Mar 2009). "Pat Toomey May Take Arlen Specter Out of GOP's Misery". Human Events. Retrieved 3 May 2009. 
  13. ^ "Voting Records". ADA Today Newsletter (Americans for Democratic Action) 55-60 (1). 2000 - 20006. 
  14. ^ Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named On_the_issues; see Help:Cite error.
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Election Statistics". Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives. Retrieved 2008-01-10. 

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Paul McHale
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 15th congressional district

January 3, 1999 – January 3, 2005
Succeeded by
Charlie Dent
Other offices
Preceded by
Stephen Moore
President of the Club for Growth
2005 – 2009
Succeeded by
Chris Chocola


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