Mark S. Schweiker

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Mark Stephen Schweiker
Harrisburg Air force one.jpg
Schweiker on far right
44th Governor of Pennsylvania
In office
October 5, 2001 – January 21, 2003
Lieutenant Robert Jubelirer
Preceded by Tom Ridge
Succeeded by Ed Rendell
28th Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania
In office
January 17, 1995 – October 5, 2001
Acting Governor
September 20, 2001 - October 5, 2001
Governor Tom Ridge
Preceded by Mark Singel
Succeeded by Robert Jubelirer
Member of the Bucks County
Board of Commissioners
In office
January 4, 1988 – January 17, 1995
Preceded by Carl Fonash
Succeeded by Mike Fitzpatrick
Personal details
Born (1953-01-31) January 31, 1953 (age 61)
Levittown, Pennsylvania
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Katherine Schweiker
Children Brett, Eric & Kara
Profession Businessman, Politician
Religion Roman Catholic
a. ^ Office vacant from December 13, 1993 – September 20, 2001

Mark Stephen Schweiker[1][2] (born January 31, 1953) is a businessman and politician who served as the 44th Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania from October 5, 2001 to January 21, 2003. Schweiker, a Republican, became Governor of Pennsylvania in 2001, when his predecessor, Tom Ridge, resigned to become Homeland Security Advisor to President George W. Bush.

Early life[edit]

Mark Schweiker, second son of John and Mary Schweiker, was born in Philadelphia's Temple University Hospital and later raised in Levittown, Bucks County, Pennsylvania. He is of German and Irish descent. . He attended Bishop Egan High School in Bucks County and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. He holds a master’s degree in administration from Rider University. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Law degree from Rider University in 2004. After college he entered the business world and held positions at Sadlier Oxford and McGraw Hill. Later, he formed his own management consulting firm.

Political career[edit]

Bucks County politics[edit]

Schweiker entered politics in 1979 when he successfully ran for supervisor of Middletown Township. In 1987, he was elected Bucks County Commissioner. Schweiker and fellow Republican Andrew Warren overturned a Democratic majority on the board, largely on the strength of opposition to a water project planned for Point Pleasant.[3][4]

Lieutenant Governor[edit]

In 1994, Schweiker successfully ran for the Republican nomination for Lieutenant Governor. Schweiker ran in the fall general election alongside Congressman Tom Ridge, the gubernatorial nominee. The Ridge/Schweiker ticket won the election, beating the Democratic ticket of incumbent Lieutenant Governor Mark Singel (the gubernatorial nominee), and State Labor and Industry Secretary Tom Foley (the nominee for Lieutenant Governor) by a margin of 45.40% to 39.89%. Constitution Party candidate Peg Luksik captured 12.8 percent of the vote. The Ridge/Schweiker ticket easily won reelection in 1998.

As Lieutenant Governor, Schweiker chaired the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Council, The Board of Pardons, The Governor's Council on Recycling Development and Waste Reduction, oversaw the Statewide Radio Network, and was involved with Pennsylvania’s anti-terrorism task force and the “Weed and Seed” anti-crime initiative.

In a 2002 PoliticsPA Feature story designating politicians with yearbook superlatives, he was named "Missing in Action."[5]

Governor[edit]

Schweiker had decided against a run for the governor's office in 2002 and was preparing to finish out his term when the September 11th terrorist attack occurred. Ridge resigned as governor on October 5, 2001 to join the Bush administration as Homeland Security Advisor. Schweiker began preparing for the transition as Acting Governor on September 20, and was formally sworn-in as the Commonwealth's 44th Governor on the day of Ridge's resignation.[6][7][7][8] By provision of the Pennsylvania Constitution, Robert Jubelirer, the President Pro Tempore of the State Senate, became Lieutenant Governor. This became a matter of some controversy as Jubelirer retained his leadership position and seat in the state senate.[9]

In the wake of the terrorist attacks, Schweiker moved to secure Pennsylvania’s five nuclear reactors, created the Governor's Task Force on Security, and expanded the ranks of the Pennsylvania State Police. Schweiker also faced budget shortfalls due to the economic collapse following the attacks and a crisis in the School District of Philadelphia.

Schweiker negotiated the state takeover of the school district and also was the first governor of Pennsylvania to put state funds into pre-school activities. He also passed the most significant tort reform measures in recent decades, when he replaced Ridge, a former trial lawyer less inclined to push those measures.

Schweiker's most famous contribution as governor came in July 2002, during the Quecreek Mine rescue in Somerset County, when he personally oversaw the 77-hour operation that saved the lives of all nine trapped coal miners from the Quecreek mine. Following the rescue, Schweiker implemented a series of new safety procedures to provide better protection for miners.

Schweiker held to his decision not to stand for the 2002 governor's race despite several polls that showed him with a comfortable lead in a hypothetical matchup with eventual Democratic nominee Ed Rendell. Rendell won the election and was sworn in as Schweiker's successor on January 21, 2003.

He was named to the PoliticsPA list of "Sy Snyder's Power 50" list of influential individuals in Pennsylvania politics in 2003.[10]

Post Governorship[edit]

He left office when his term expired on January 21, 2003. Schweiker became President and CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce in February 2003 and served until 2009 when he announced his resignation to join Philadelphia area pharmaceutical manufacturer PRWT as President of business process outsourcing. He also works as a consultant to the law firm of Stradley Ronon. In late 2010, rumors began circulating that Schweiker was considering a run for the Republican nomination for Senate in the 2012 election facing Democratic incumbent Bob Casey, Jr. Polls showed him as the Republican's best match up against Casey but still trailing the first term incumbent. In January 2011 Schweiker issued a statement indicating that he would not run for the nomination choosing instead to focus on his business career.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Governor Mark Stephen Schweiker". Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. The State of Pennsylvania. 
  2. ^ Mark S. Schweiker Papers, 1992–2003. Bloomu.edu. Retrieved on 2011-06-02.
  3. ^ Marcovitz, Hal (November 4, 1987). "Warren, Schweiker Win Commission Seats". The Allentown Morning Call. Retrieved November 13, 2010. 
  4. ^ Marcovitz, Hal (January 5, 1988). "Schweiker Urges End to County Pay Delay". The Allentown Morning Call. Retrieved November 13, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Keystone State Yearbook Committee". PoliticsPA. The Publius Group. 2001. Archived from the original on 2002-08-31. 
  6. ^ "Schweiker plans to visit public schools across state". The Reading Eagle. October 9, 2001. Retrieved March 30, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b May, Timothy D. (September 25, 2001). "Schweiker begins formally preparing for governorship". The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved March 30, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Ridge tapped to direct homeland security". The Vindicator. September 21, 2001. Retrieved March 30, 2013. 
  9. ^ "State senator to handle two roles, Republican officials say the new lieutenant governor will be able to keep his seat. The decision has critics.". The Philadelphia Inquirer. September 29, 2001. Retrieved March 30, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Power 50". PoliticsPA. The Publius Group. 2003. Archived from the original on 2004-04-17. 
  11. ^ Schweiker: Senate Run “Not in the Cards”. PoliticsPA (2011-01-14). Retrieved on 2011-06-02.
Political offices
Preceded by
Mark Singel
Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania
1995–2001
Succeeded by
Robert Jubelirer
Preceded by
Tom Ridge
Governor of Pennsylvania
2001–2003
Succeeded by
Ed Rendell
Preceded by
Mark Singel1
Acting Governor of Pennsylvania
2001
Succeeded by
Jim Cawley
Preceded by
Carl Fonash
Member of the Bucks County Board of Commissioners
1988–1995
Succeeded by
Mike Fitzpatrick
Party political offices
Preceded by
Harold Mowery
Republican nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania
1994, 1998
Succeeded by
Jane Earll
Business positions
Preceded by
Charles P. Pizzi
President and CEO of Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce
2003–2009
Succeeded by
Rob Wonderling
Notes and references
1. Office vacant from December 13, 1993–September 20, 2001