Bob Hagan

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Bob Hagan
Member of the Ohio House of Representatives
from the 58th[1] district
In office
January 2, 2007 – December 31, 2014
Preceded by Sylvester Patton
Succeeded by Michelle Lepore-Hagan
In office
January 2, 1987 – February 8, 1997
Preceded by Tom Gilmartin
Succeeded by Sylvester Patton
Member of the Ohio Senate
from the 33rd district
In office
February 8, 1997 – December 31, 2006
Preceded by Joseph Vukovich
Succeeded by John Boccieri
Personal details
Born (1949-03-31) March 31, 1949 (age 68)
Youngstown, Ohio
Political party Democratic
Residence Youngstown, Ohio
Alma mater Ursuline High School
Profession Locomotive Engineer

Robert F. Hagan (born March 31, 1949) is an American politician and member of the Democratic Party who held a seat in the Ohio House of Representatives for the Sixtieth District from 2007 to 2014. He represented the same seat from 1987 to 1997, and served in the Ohio Senate from 1997 to 2006.

In 2014, he was elected to the Ohio State School Board of Education but, resigned shortly thereafter and pursued a lobbying career in Washington, D.C.[2]

Early life[edit]

Hagan was born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio. He attended high school at Ursuline High School, on Youngstown's north side.

Before entering electoral politics, Hagan worked for 15 years as a locomotive engineer for CSX Transportation.

Ohio House of Representatives[edit]

In 1986, he was elected to a seat in the Ohio House of Representatives, representing the 53rd Ohio House district, centered on Youngstown, Ohio. At the time, his father, Robert E. Hagan, was also serving in the House. Between 1986 and 1990, the Hagans were the first father and son to simultaneously hold seats in the Ohio House of Representatives. Hagan served in the House for ten years. Hagan's brother, Timothy Hagan, served for many years as a county commissioner in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. In 2002, Tim Hagan was the Democratic nominee for the office of Governor of Ohio.

Ohio Senate[edit]

When incumbent Joseph Vukovich was appointed to a judiciary position in 1997, Hagan was chosen to succeed him in the Ohio Senate. He was appointed to the State Senate on February 12, 1997, to represent the 33rd district in northeastern Ohio, centered on the city of Youngstown. During his time in there, he was chosen by the Senate Democratic caucus to serve as assistant minority whip in the 126th Ohio General Assembly; however, he stepped down from his leadership post when he entered the election for State Representative.[3]

In 2005, Hagan ran for mayor of Youngstown, hoping to replace outgoing mayor George McKelvey. Although initially favored to win, he was soundly defeated by independent candidate Jay Williams.

A strong proponent of liberal agendas, Hagan occasionally uses satire to attempt to make a point. In February 2006, he placed a spoof request for co-sponsors for a fictional piece of legislation called the "Republican Adoption Ban of 2006." The bill was meant as a response to HB 515, which was a ban on adoption by homosexual or bisexual people or couples, and in presenting the fake legislation Hagan cited so-called "credible research" indicating that children in Republican households had a host of emotional problems. He was later mocked by his constituents during a public forum for failing to sponsor legitimate bills for their benefit. He later apologized.

In April 2010, Bob Hagan co-sponsored a measure to legalize marijuana in Ohio. The bill, "would let doctor-certified medical marijuana users grow plants, but they would have to be kept in a locked room, greenhouse, garden, closet or other enclosed area out of view. The bill was eventually withdrawn after the allowance of closet growing raised concerns.[4]

Ohio House of Representatives[edit]

Unsuccessful in his bid for Mayor of Youngstown, Hagan sought to return to Ohio House of Representatives to succeed term limited Sylvester "Sly" Patton. Against six others for the nomination, Hagan won the primary with 37.59% of the vote.[5] He won the general election with 58.08% of the vote against Republican John Johnson. Hagan, in 2008, won reelection with 84.9% of the vote again Republican Timothy Gordon.[6]

Facing primary opposition for a third term in 2010, Hagan defeated Don Hanni with 70.59% of the vote for the nomination.[7] He won the general election with 81.23% of the vote over Republican Daniel Thimons.[8] For the 129th General Assembly, Hagan served on the committees of Commerce and Labor; Health and Aging; and Transportation, Public Safety and Homeland Security.[9] He also served on the Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission.

Hagan won a final term in 2012 unopposed, and was term-limited in 2014. He was succeeded by his wife Michelle Lepore-Hagan.

2016 U.S. Senate election[edit]

On April 17, 2013, Hagan announced his candidacy for the United States Senate seat currently occupied by Republican Rob Portman. He cited Portman's vote against background checks as his motive for challenging the freshman senator.[10] He would later admit that his announcement was a joke and publicity stunt on a local call in radio program.

Policies and initiatives[edit]

Collective bargaining[edit]

With the city of Youngstown being majorly pro-labor, Hagan had been against a bill that looks to limit collective bargaining for public employees. While it was virtually inevitable that the bill will pass into law, Hagan vowed to lead an effort to overthrow it via a referendum.[11] A member of the committee hearing the bill, Hagan presented his colleagues with 65,000 petitions from individuals opposing the bill, which were ordered removed from the room by chairman Joe Uecker.[12] Hagan has cited a considerable amount of secrecy and partisanship surrounding the legislation.[13] He has called the bill simply a bust to unions.[14] The bill ultimately passed the entire legislature.[15]

Governor recall[edit]

Building off his opposition to S.B. 5, Hagan introduced legislation with Michael Foley that would allow voters to recall the governor, other statewide officeholders and members of the General Assembly.[16] They stated that the measure was initiated by John Kasich's low approval ratings and the outcry that occurred after S.B. 5.[17]

Environmental issues[edit]

A staunch liberal, Hagan is against measures that would allow drilling for oil and natural gas in Ohio state parks. In debate on the bill, which went on to pass the Ohio House of Representatives, he went on to question whether Republicans who supported the measure were on drugs. Hagan has also sought to fight gasoline prices through legislation to create the Ohio Gasoline Price Oversight Commission. Along with Ron Gerberry, Hagan hopes to help fight rising gasoline prices. "This legislation is a direct response to the sacrifice our constituents are making at the pumps," Rep. Hagan said.[18]


On October 22, Hagan, introduced a bill in the Ohio House that would prohibit any team playing in publicly financed stadiums or arenas from blacking out games. A violation would result in the team repaying its public funding.[19]


In 2010, Hagan was assaulted at the Lemon Grove, a bar located in Youngstown, Ohio. He was punched in the face after a verbal altercation with a fellow customer, and was treated with several stitches at a local hospital after regaining consciousness.[20]

On January 20, 2011 it was reported that Hagan had referred to someone during an online debate on Facebook as a "buckwheat", a word that some consider to have racist connotations.It was not directed at Thomas. Hagan said "buckwheat" was a term he had been using "since he was a kid" and that it carried no racial connotation for him.[21] Hagan was hailed by the OLBC for his courage in standing up for all people.

On April 27, 2012, Hagan was uninvited to speak at the graduation ceremony of Mercy College School of Nursing at the request of Bishop George Murry, S.J. of Youngstown, just four days before the graduation was to take place. Bishop Murry cited Hagan's general lack of higher education and stance on abortion as the reasons for his decision.[22]


  1. ^ {{url="Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-05-27. Retrieved 2013-11-11.  | accessdate=2013-11-11}}
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-02-24. Retrieved 2016-01-12. 
  3. ^ Peet, Preston (2004). Under The Influence: The Disinformation Guide to Drugs. The Disinformation Company. ISBN 978-1-932857-00-9 
  4. ^ "Youngstown’s Hagan seeks to legalize medical marijuana in Ohio". Associated Press. 2010-04-10. Retrieved 2011-03-30. 
  5. ^ 2006 primary election results, Secretary of State for Ohio, 2006-05-02.
  6. ^ 2008 general election results, Secretary of State for Ohio, 2008-11-04.
  7. ^ 2010 primary election results, Secretary of State for Ohio, 2010-05-04.
  8. ^ 2010 general election results, Secretary of State for Ohio, 2010-11-02.
  9. ^ Skolnick, David (2011-01-12). "Valley Democrats lose top spots on committees". Youngstown Vindicator. Retrieved 2011-03-30. 
  10. ^ Skolnick, David (2013-04-18). "Hagan says he'll run for U.S. Senate in 2016". Youngstown Vindicator. Retrieved 2013-04-18. 
  11. ^ Guillen, Joe (2011-03-30). "Controversial Ohio collective bargaining bill heads toward final approval". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved 2011-03-30. 
  12. ^ Guillen, Joe (2011-03-29). "Senate Bill 5 hearing begins with flap over signatures". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved 2011-03-30. 
  13. ^ Craig, Jon (2011-03-30). "House set to OK SB5". Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved 2011-03-30. 
  14. ^ Bischoff, Laura (2011-03-31). "Backers defend need for bargaining bill; unions promise referendum". Dayton Daily News. Retrieved 2011-04-01. 
  15. ^ Kovac, Marc (2011-03-31). "Tempers flare as SB 5 approved". Youngstown Vindicator. Retrieved 2011-04-02. 
  16. ^ Vardon, Joe (2011-04-06). "SB 5 supporters slow to organize". Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved 2011-04-06. 
  17. ^ Siegel, Jim; Joe Hardon (2011-04-07). "Part of SB 5 could go into budget bill". Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved 2011-04-07. 
  18. ^ David, Skolnick (2011-05-09). "Legislation would require gas companies to justify charges". Youngstown Vindicator. Retrieved 2011-05-26. 
  19. ^ "Ohio bill would prohibit TV blackouts of NFL games". San Antonio Express-News Website. October 22, 2012. Retrieved October 23, 2012. [permanent dead link]
  20. ^ "Bad could become good for Lemongrove incident". Youngstown Vindicator. 2010-02-14. Retrieved 2011-03-30. 
  21. ^ Dick, Denise (2011-02-24). "Facebook remark wasn't racist, Hagan says". Youngstown Vindicator. Retrieved 2011-03-30. 
  22. ^ Kosinski, Marly (2012-04-27). "Hagan Uninvited to Speak at Nursing School Graduation". WKBN 27 First News. Archived from the original on 2012-04-30. Retrieved 2012-04-27.