John Eichelberger

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John Eichelberger
John Eichelberger.jpg
Member of the Pennsylvania Senate
from the 30th district
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 2, 2007
Preceded by Robert Jubelirer
Member of the Blair County
Board of Commissioners
In office
1995–2007
Personal details
Born (1958-09-01) September 1, 1958 (age 56)
Altoona, Pennsylvania
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Charlotte Eichelberger
Residence Duncansville, Pennsylvania
Religion Church of the Brethren

John Eichelberger of Blair Township, Pennsylvania is a Pennsylvania State Senator. He is a member of the Republican Party. He represents the 30th district of the Pennsylvania State Senate.

Eichelberger gained notoriety following his defeat of Senate President Pro-Tempore Robert Jubelirer in the May 2006 primary election.

Biography[edit]

Prior to his career in government, Eichelberger was the President of an insurance brokerage in Altoona, Pennsylvania. In 1995, he was elected to the Blair County Commission. He was re-elected in 1999 and 2003. During his tenure as county commissioner, he was a major critic of local Congressman Bud Shuster, focusing on Shuster's "ethical clouds" in the later years of his tenure.[1] When Shuster resigned in February 2001, Eichelberger's name was floated as a possible successor.[1] Instead, the Republican State Committee selected Shuster's son, Bill Shuster, to be the Republican nominee for the May 2001 special election. Bill Shuster won the committee's nomination after replacing 18 members of the Blair County, Pennsylvania Republican Committee with his own supporters.[2]

2006 Election[edit]

His Senate campaign was sparked by the 2005 Pennsylvania pay raise. Senate President Pro Tem Robert Jubelirer was a rival in Blair County politics who had supported the pay increase. His campaign was aided by conservative Bob Guzzardi.[3] Eichelberger attacked Jubelirer for his support of the raise as well as his stance on abortion. During the campaign, Eichelberger received support from conservatives such as former congressman Pat Toomey and former Lieutenant Governor Bill Scranton.[4] Jubelirer counter-attacked, noting that Eichelberger had benefited from pay raises as a commissioner. In addition, Jubelirer alleged that Eichelberger had a poor voting record on the commission.

On primary election day, Eichelberger took 44% to Jubelirer's 36% and C. Arnold McClure's 20%. Jubelirer and David Brightbill were the first top-ranked General Assembly leaders to be defeated in a primary since 1964.[5] Eichelberger went on to defeat businessman and Democratic candidate Greg Morris in the general election with 62.7% of the vote.

He was unopposed for re-election in 2010.

Gay/Lesbian Radio Debate Controversy[edit]

On Friday, June 19, 2009, Senator Eichelberger debated State Senator Daylin Leach on WHYY, a Philadelphia radio station, about homosexuality and same-sex relationships. Eichelberger called such relationships "dysfunctional" and stated, "They’re [homosexuals] not being punished. We’re allowing them to exist, and do what every American can do. We’re just not rewarding them with any special designation."[6][7] Gay and Lesbian organizations such as the Empowering Spirits Foundation responded harshly to the senator's comments, asking that he immediately apologize for his remarks.[7]

Electoral history[edit]

Pennsylvania Senate, District 30: May 2006 Primary Election[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican John Eichelberger 15,445 43.9
Republican Robert Jubelirer 12,662 36.0
Republican C. Arnold McClure 7,097 20.2
Pennsylvania Senate, District 30: November 2006 General Election[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican John Eichelberger 45,607 62.7
Democratic Greg Morris 27,106 37.3
Republican hold Swing
Pennsylvania Senate, District 30: November 2010 General Election[10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican John Eichelberger 67,457 100 +37.3
Republican hold Swing

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Gizzi, John (2001-01-19). "Cracks in the house of shuster". Human Events. Retrieved 2008-10-30. 
  2. ^ Gizzi, John (2001-03-19). "Shuster's son also rises". Human Events. Retrieved 2008-10-30. 
  3. ^ Barnes, Tom (April 30, 2006). "Anger over pay raise dogs Jubelirer campaign". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh). 
  4. ^ Tom Barnes, Pay raise support imperils Jubelirer's re-election bid, Pittsburgh Post Gazette, 5/12/06
  5. ^ Neri, Al (February 2006). "State Senate Outlook". The Insider. 
  6. ^ Rhonda J Mangus, Senator Eichelberger's comments incense LGBT Activists, Now Public, June 2009
  7. ^ a b "ESF Condemns Eichelberger for Bigoted Remarks, Asks for apology" (PDF). Empowering Spirits Foundation Press Release. 2009-06-22. Retrieved 2009-07-13. 
  8. ^ http://www.electionreturns.state.pa.us
  9. ^ http://www.electionreturns.state.pa.us
  10. ^ http://www.electionreturns.state.pa.us

External links[edit]

Pennsylvania State Senate
Preceded by
Robert Jubelirer
Member of the Pennsylvania Senate for the 30th District
2007–present
Succeeded by
Incumbent