Frank Pallone

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Frank Pallone
Frank Pallone Photo.jpg
Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee
Assumed office
January 3, 2019
Preceded byGreg Walden
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from New Jersey
Assumed office
November 8, 1988
Preceded byJames J. Howard
Constituency3rd district (1988–1993)
6th district (1993–present)
Member of the New Jersey Senate
from the 11th district
In office
January 10, 1984 – November 8, 1988
Preceded byBrian T. Kennedy
Succeeded byJoseph A. Palaia
Member of the Long Branch City Council
In office
Personal details
Frank Joseph Pallone Jr.

(1951-10-30) October 30, 1951 (age 70)
Long Branch, New Jersey, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Sarah Hospodor
(m. 1992)
EducationMiddlebury College (BA)
Tufts University (MA)
Rutgers University, Camden (JD)
WebsiteHouse website

Frank Joseph Pallone Jr. (/pəˈln/; born October 30, 1951) is an American lawyer and politician serving as the U.S. Representative for New Jersey's 6th congressional district, serving since 1988. He is a member of the Democratic Party. The district, numbered as the 3rd district from 1988 to 1993, is in the north-central part of the state and includes New Brunswick, Woodbridge Township, Perth Amboy, Sayreville, Edison, Piscataway and Asbury Park. Pallone is the chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.[1]

Early life, education, and early political career[edit]

Pallone is a graduate of Middlebury College, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and Rutgers School of Law–Camden. Before being elected to the House, he was a member of the Long Branch city council from 1982 to 1988.

Pallone was a member of the New Jersey Senate from the 11th district from 1984 to 1988. In 1983, he defeated incumbent Republican State Senator Brian T. Kennedy 50%-49%.[2] In 1987, he was reelected with 60% of the vote, defeating Councilwoman Gerri C. Popkin of Neptune City.[3]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]



In March 1988, 60-year-old incumbent U.S. Congressman James Howard of New Jersey's 3rd congressional district died in office. In November, the regular election coincided with a special election to complete Howard's term; Pallone won both, defeating Republican former state Assemblyman Joe Azzolina 52%-47% and Libertarian Laura Stewart. In 1990, he was reelected with 49% of the vote, against a Republican, an independent, Libertarian Bill Stewart, and a Populist.


After redistricting, Pallone's district was renumbered the 6th district. In the 1992 Democratic primary, he defeated State Representative Robert Smith 55%-37%. In the general election, he defeated Republican State Senator Joe Kyrillos 52%-45% and nine other candidates. Since then, he has won reelection with at least 60% in all but two elections (1998 and 2010). In 1998, he defeated Republican teacher Mike Ferguson 57%-40%.


Pallone was challenged by Republican nominee Anna C. Little, a former Monmouth County Freeholder and mayor of Highlands, New Jersey, who is an attorney specializing in immigration law. On November 3, 2010, Pallone defeated Little by over 16,000 votes, 55% to 43%, in what analysts considered a terrible year for Democrats. For the first time in his career, Pallone failed to carry his home county of Monmouth.


Pallone in 2013

Pallone is a Progressive Caucus Member. He serves as Vice Chairman of the Native American Caucus, where he has worked on a bipartisan basis to protect the inherent sovereignty of tribal governments and promote the needs of Indian Country. As a senior member of the House Resources Committee—the committee with jurisdiction over all matters regarding U.S. relations with American Indians and Alaska Natives—he has been a defender of the sovereign status of Indian Tribal governments as independent from the United States.

He also serves as a co-chairman of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues along with Congressman Ed Royce (previously Joe Knollenberg and Mark Kirk) and was instrumental in garnering the support of 127 members (30%) of the U.S. House for the Armenian Caucus.[4] In 2002 he was awarded the Mkhitar Gosh Medal by the President of Armenia.[5]

In 2002, he was awarded India's third highest civilian award, the Padma Bhushan for his contributions as member of the India Caucus in the Congress.[6]

Pallone was one of 31 House Democrats who voted not to count Ohio's electoral votes in the 2004 presidential election.[7] Republican President George W. Bush won Ohio by 118,457 votes.[8] Without Ohio's electoral votes, the election would have been decided by the U.S. House of Representatives, with each state having one vote in accordance with the Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Pallone received an A on the Drum Major Institute's 2005 Congressional Scorecard on middle-class issues.[9] while the National Taxpayers Union has consistently given Pallone an F ranking on votes that affect taxes, spending, and debt.[10]

Pallone has questioned the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on its update of flood plain maps in Monmouth County, specifically in the Bayshore area.[11]

Pallone has introduced a bill to modify the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the U.S.'s most important set of fisheries regulations.;[12][13]

On October 3, 2008, Pallone voted for the Troubled Asset Relief Program[14] believing that the enumerated powers grant Congress the authority to "purchase assets and equity from financial institutions in order to strengthen its financial sector."[citation needed]

In 2014, Pallone defeated Representative Anna Eshoo 100 to 90 in a secret-ballot vote to becoming the ranking member of the Committee on Energy and Commerce. He had been the third-ranking Democrat, and was in line to becoming ranking member after the 2014 midterm elections due to the retirements of John Dingell and Henry Waxman. Pallone was backed by Minority Whip Steny Hoyer and the Congressional Black Caucus, the latter of which "made a repeated point to stress the importance of Pallone’s seniority. Black lawmakers have a deep appreciation for seniority, as it was historically the quickest way African-American members earned gavels". House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi aggressively campaigned on Eshoo's behalf, while the Steering Committee, packed with Pelosi allies, recommended Eshoo for the ranking slot by 30 to 19 votes.[15]

After Representative Chris Smith said he did "not construe homosexual rights as human rights", Pallone issued a statement supporting homosexual rights. The statement read, in part, "Representatives in Congress must be promoting the expansion of human rights, not fighting to limit its definition to people that they deem to be appropriate."[16][17]


Pallone opposed the Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act (H.R. 2019; 113th Congress), which passed in both the House and the Senate. The bill would end taxpayer contributions to the Presidential Election Campaign Fund and divert the money in that fund to pay for research into pediatric cancer through the National Institutes of Health.[18][19] The total funding for research would come to $126 million over 10 years.[18][19] As of 2014, the national conventions got about 23% of their funding from the Presidential Election Campaign Fund.[20] Pallone said the bill was "a disingenuous and empty attempt by the Republicans to divert attention from the fact that they have voted to cut research time and time again."[21] Democratic opponents blamed Republicans for $1.5 billion cuts to the National Institutes of Health and said this money would not make it up.[21] Supporters of the bill argued that the use of this money for pediatric cancer research was better than using it for political campaigns, so the bill should be supported for that reason.[21] Pallone was one of 58 members of Congress to oppose tabling a motion offering articles of impeachment against Donald Trump on December 6, 2017.[22]

Committee assignments[edit]

Frank Pallone beside President Obama who signs the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act of 2009.

Caucus memberships[edit]

Party leadership
  • Communications Chair of the Democratic Policy Committee

Other political offices[edit]

In 2002, Pallone turned down an offer to replace embattled Senator Bob Torricelli as the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate by Democratic Party leaders. The slot eventually went to Frank Lautenberg, who won the general election. In 2004-05, Pallone considered a gubernatorial bid against embattled and unpopular Governor Jim McGreevey, but ended up supporting eventual nominee Jon Corzine.

Early in 2005, Pallone announced his intention to seek the Senate seat held at the time by Corzine. Corzine won the Democratic nomination for governor in June 2005, and Pallone was the first politician to officially seek Corzine's Senate seat. He launched "Pallone for New Jersey" to inform New Jersey citizens of his work in the House and his desire to be New Jersey's next senator. In January 2006, Pallone announced his endorsement of Bob Menendez for Senate in the November 2006 election, ending his bid for the seat.

Pallone was an early and strong endorser of Hillary Clinton in the 2008 Democratic presidential primaries. He traveled to New Hampshire to campaign for Clinton. Clinton lost the primary to Barack Obama, who went on to become president. Pallone also endorsed Frank Lautenberg over Congressman Rob Andrews.

2013 U.S. Senate election[edit]

On January 3, 2013, it was revealed that Pallone was considering another bid for the Senate should Frank Lautenberg elect not to pursue another term in office in 2014.[28] On June 9, 2013, Pallone said he was officially in the race to fill Lautenberg's Senate seat, due to the Lautenberg's death, and could win the Democratic primary against Newark Mayor Cory Booker by running on his progressive congressional record.[29] Lautenberg's family endorsed Pallone on July 8, 2013.[30] The state council of sheet metal workers also endorsed Pallone.[31]

In the August 13, 2013 primary election, Pallone lost to Booker.[32] Booker then won the general election.

Electoral history[edit]

New Jersey's 3rd congressional district and New Jersey's 6th congressional district: Results 1988–2020
Year Democratic Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct
1988 (special) Frank Pallone 52.0% Joseph Azzolina 47.3% Laura Stewart Libertarian 0.8%
1988 117,024 51.6% 107,479 47.4% 2,107 0.9%
1990 49.1% Paul A. Kapalko 46.5% Richard D. McKean Independent 1.2% William Stewart Libertarian 1.2% Joseph A. Plonski Populist 0.5%
1992 118,266 53.9% Joe Kyrillos 100,949 46.1% Joseph Spalletta 2,153 1.0% 1,404 0.6% Peter Cerrato Independent 1,073 0.5% *
1994 88,922 60.4% Mike Herson 55,287 37.5% Charles H. Dickson 1,774 1.2% Gary J. Rich Conservative 800 0.5% Richard Quinn Natural Law 548 0.4%
1996 124,635 61.3% Steven Corodemus 73,402 36.1% Keith Quarles Libertarian 2,044 1.0% Richard Sorrentino 1,509 0.7% Susan Normandin 548 0.6% *
1998 78,102 57.0% Mike Ferguson 55,180 40.3% Carl Mayer Independent 1,291 0.9% Steve Nagle Independent 1,262 0.9% Leonard Marshall Independent 1,262 0.9%
2000 141,698 67.5% Brian Kennedy 62,454 29.8% Earl Gray Green 4,252 2.0% Karen Zaletel Reform 1,120 0.5% Sylvia Kuzmak Conservative 328 0.2%
2002 91,379 66.5% Ric Medrow 42,479 30.9% Richard Strong 1,819 1.3% Barry Allen Libertarian 1,206 0.9% Mac X. Lyden Independent 612 0.5%
2004 153,981 66.9% Sylvester Fernandez 70,942 30.8% Virginia Flynn Libertarian 2,829 1.2% Mac X. Lyden Independent 2,399 1.0%
2006 98,615 66.9% Leigh-Ann Bellew 43,359 30.2% Herbert Tarbous Independent 1,619 1.1%
2008 164,077 67.0% Robert McLeod 77,469 31.6% 3,531 1.5%
2010 81,933 54.7% Anna Little 65,413 43.7% Jack Freudenheim 1,299 0.9% Karen Anne Zaletel Green Tea Patriots 1,017 0.7%
2012 151,782 63.3% 84,360 35.2% Len Flynn Libertarian 1,392 0.6% Independent 868 0.4% Mac Dara Lyden Independent 830 0.3% *
2014 72,190 59.9% Anthony E. Wilkinson 46,891 38.9% Dorit Goikhman 1,376 1.2%
2016 167,895 63.7% Brent Sonnek-Schmelz 91,908 34.9% Rajit B. Malliah Green 1,912 0.7% Judith Shamy Libertarian 1,720 0.7%
2018 140,752 63.6% Richard J. Pezzullo 80,443 36.4%
2020 199,648 61.2% Christian Onuoha 126,760 38.8%

Write-in and minor candidate notes: In 1992, 4 minor candidates received 2,248 votes collectively. In 1996, Socialist Workers candidate Stefanie Trice received 641 votes. In 2012, Reform candidate Hebrert Tarbous received 406 votes.

Personal life[edit]

Pallone lives with his wife Sarah Hospodor-Pallone and their three children in Long Branch, New Jersey.[33] They married in August 1992.[34]


  1. ^ "Pallone Elected Chairman of Energy and Commerce Committee". 20 December 2018. Retrieved 3 January 2019.
  2. ^ "NJ State Senate 11 Race — Nov 08, 1983". Our Campaigns. Retrieved February 21, 2012.
  3. ^ "NJ State Senate 11 Race — Nov 03, 1987". Our Campaigns. Retrieved February 21, 2012.
  4. ^ Avakian, Florence (November 14, 2003). "Karabakh president Ghoukassian starts US tour with successful tribute gala in New York". Armenia Fund USA. Archived from the original on June 30, 2009. Retrieved February 21, 2012.
  5. ^ "Remarks by Ambassador Arman Kirakossian at the Ceremony honoring Representative Frank Pallone, Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues". Embassy of the Republic of Armenia in the USA. June 12, 2002. Archived from the original on February 7, 2012. Retrieved February 21, 2012.
  6. ^ "Fund push to AIDS war", The Telegraph (Calcutta), January 12, 2004. Accessed May 26, 2007. "Pallone, a Democrat [sic] Congressman from New Jersey and recipient of the Padma Bhushan in 2002 for his contribution towards bringing India and the US closer, said America has promised to make $15 billion available to combat AIDS in 14 hard-hit countries ranging from Haiti to Kenya."
  7. ^ "Final Vote Results for Role Call 7". Clerk of the United States House of Representatives. January 6, 2005. Retrieved January 15, 2013.
  8. ^ Salvato, Albert (29 December 2004). "Ohio Recount Gives a Smaller Margin to Bush". The New York Times.
  9. ^ Congress at the Midterm: Their 2005 Middle-Class Record. Retrieved June 28, 2006.
  10. ^ NTU Rates Congress Results for the First Session of the 111th Congress. Retrieved September 19, 2010.
  11. ^ "Pallone looks for FEMA flood map intermission". Gaffney, Melissa. The Courier. May 8, 2008. May 31, 2008.
  12. ^ "Bill Summary & Status - 111th Congress (2009 - 2010) - H.R.1584 - THOMAS (Library of Congress)". Retrieved 2010-07-12.[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ "Editorial: Of Fish and Flexibility". The New York Times. June 12, 2009.
  14. ^ "2008 - FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 681". Clerk of the United States House of Representatives. 2008-10-03. Retrieved 2010-08-30.
  15. ^ French, Lauren; Bresnahan, John. "Rep. Pallone to be ranking member on influential committee". POLITICO. Retrieved 2021-08-03.
  16. ^ Ring, Trudy (February 6, 2015). "New Jersey Rep Gets Blowback on Antigay Statements". The Advocate. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
  17. ^ Gaudiano, Nicole (February 5, 2015). "NJ Congressman: Gay rights, civil rights not the same". USA Today. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
  18. ^ a b Gibson, Caitlin (14 November 2014). "Federal pediatric medical research act named for Gabriella Miller". The Washington Post. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
  19. ^ a b "H.R. 2019 - CBO" (PDF). Congressional Budget Office. Retrieved 12 March 2014.
  20. ^ Hooper, Molly K. (30 January 2014). "Convention wipeout coming soon?". The Hill. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
  21. ^ a b c Kasperowicz, Pete (11 December 2013). "House passes pediatric research bill, Cantor priority". The Hill. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
  22. ^[bare URL]
  23. ^ "Caucus Members". Congressional Progressive Caucus. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  24. ^ "Our Members". U.S. House of Representatives International Conservation Caucus. Archived from the original on 1 August 2018. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
  25. ^ "Membership". Congressional Arts Caucus. Archived from the original on 12 June 2018. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  26. ^ "Members". House Baltic Caucus. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  27. ^ "Members". Congressional NextGen 9-1-1 Caucus. Retrieved 11 June 2018.
  28. ^ Haberman, Maggie (3 January 2013). "Frank Pallone joins Cory Booker in eyeing New Jersey Senate seat". Politico. Retrieved 4 January 2013.
  29. ^ "PALLONE SAYS HE'S IN NJ SENATE RACE". AP. Retrieved 10 June 2013.
  30. ^ "Lautenberg family endorses Pallone over 'celebrity' Cory Booker in NJ Senate race". The Hill. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
  31. ^ June 19, 2013 "Sheet Metal Workers State Council Endorses Pallone For U.S. Senate"
  32. ^ Celock, John (August 13, 2013). "New Jersey Senate Election: Cory Booker Wins Democratic Primary". Huffington Post.
  33. ^ "Meet the Congressman from the Jersey Shore". New Jersey Monthly. 2019-07-10. Retrieved 2020-11-10.
  34. ^ "Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. of New Jersey To Wed Sarah Hospodor in August (Published 1992)". The New York Times. 1992-02-23. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-11-10.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Jersey's 3rd congressional district

Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Jersey's 6th congressional district

Preceded by Chair of the House Energy Committee
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded byas Speaker United States representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Otherwise Fred Upton