|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 3rd district
January 3, 2009 – January 3, 2011
|Preceded by||Phil English|
|Succeeded by||Mike Kelly|
|Born||Kathleen Ann Steenberge
December 10, 1957
Erie, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Dan Dahlkemper; 5 children|
|Alma mater||Edinboro University of Pennsylvania (B.S.)|
Kathy Dahlkemper (née Steenberge; born December 10, 1957) is an American politician who was the U.S. Representative for Pennsylvania's 3rd congressional district from 2009 to 2011. She is a member of the Democratic Party. The district is based in Erie, Pennsylvania and includes most of the northwestern portion of the state. After one term in Congress, Dahlkemper was defeated for re-election in 2010.
Early life, education and career 
Born as Kathleen Ann Steenberge, she graduated in 1982 from Edinboro State College (now Edinboro University of Pennsylvania) with a degree in dietetics. She worked for more than 20 years as a clinical dietician 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.
U.S. House of Representatives 
Committee assignments 
- Committee on Agriculture
- Committee on Science and Technology
- Committee on Small Business
Dahlkemper was a member of the Blue Dog Coalition. She supported the repeal of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy for the Armed Forces, and was a co-sponsor of the Employee Free Choice Act also known as "Card Check". Dahlkemper identifies herself as pro-life, and was the "Hall of Fame" Award recipient at the 2009 Conference of Democrats for Life of America. Dahlkemper supported the Stupak-Pitts Amendment, an anti-abortion amendment to America's Affordable Health Care Act of 2009 (HR 3962), but later voted in favor of Affordable Health Care Act despite the Stupak-Pitts Amendment not being included.
Political campaigns 
Despite having never run for political office before, Dahlkemper announced her candidacy for the Democratic nomination for the 3rd 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 51 percent of the vote to English's 49 percent. Though she won only two of the district's seven counties, Dahlkemper secured victory by defeating English in Erie County, winning it by nearly 16,000 votes.
Dahlkemper was 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, the largest city in the district (no other city has more than 17,000 people), it has historically elected moderate Republicans (most notably Tom Ridge, who represented it from 1981 to 1995).
Dahlkemper was the first woman to represent northwest Pennsylvania in the House, and was one of two women in the 19-member delegation from Pennsylvania, the other being Allyson Schwartz of the Philadelphia area.
Her husband, Dan, was elected the first male President of the Congressional Spouses’ freshman class in 2009.
Dahlkemper was defeated by Republican businessman Mike Kelly by 11.4%, the highest percentage for any incumbent congressperson from Pennsylvania in 2010. While she carried Erie, she lost badly in the rest of the district.
2013 Erie County executive race 
In March 2013, Dahlkemper announced her candidacy for Erie County executive, challenging incumbent Democrat Barry Grossman. She defeated Grossman in the May 21 primary with 52% of the vote and will face Republican nominee Don Tucci.
Personal life 
- Military Readiness Enhancement Act co-sponsor list from THOMAS
- Employee Free Choice Act co-sponsor list from THOMAS
- CQ Politics profile of PA-03
- 2009 Hall of Fame Dinner and Conference
- "Dan Dahlkemper First Male President of Congressional Spouses". Press Release. January 26, 2009.
- Kevin Flowers (11 March 2013). "Dahlkemper: Erie County executive must show more vision". Erie Times-News. Retrieved 21 May 2013.
- "Dahlkemper Unseats Grossman for Erie Executive". PoliticsPA. PoliticsPA. 21 May 2013. Retrieved 21 May 2013.
Media related to Kathy Dahlkemper at Wikimedia Commons
- Kathy Dahlkemper for Congress official campaign site
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Biography, voting record, and interest group ratings at Project Vote Smart
- Congressional profile at GovTrack
- Congressional profile at OpenCongress
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Financial information (federal office) at OpenSecrets.org
- Staff salaries, trips and personal finance (federal office) at LegiStorm.com
- Issue positions and quotes at On the Issues
- Voting record at The Washington Post
- Appearances on C-SPAN programs
- Profile at SourceWatch
|United States House of Representatives|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 3rd congressional district
2009 - 2011