Jim Ferlo

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Jim Ferlo
Jim Ferlo 2006.jpg
Ferlo at an anti-war protest, 2006
Member of the Pennsylvania Senate
from the 38th district
In office
January 7, 2003 – January 5, 2015
Preceded byLeonard Bodack
Succeeded byRandy Vulakovich
President of the Pittsburgh City Council
In office
January 3, 1994 – January 6, 1998[1]
Preceded byJack Wagner
Succeeded byBob O'Connor
Member of the Pittsburgh City Council from the 7th District[a]
In office
January 4, 1988 – January 7, 2003
Preceded byStephen Grabowski
Succeeded byLeonard Bodack, Jr.[2]
Personal details
Born (1951-06-19) June 19, 1951 (age 68)
Rome, New York
Political partyDemocratic
ResidencePittsburgh, Pennsylvania
a.^ Ferlo was originally elected to Grabowski's at-large seat, but won re-election after a voter-approved referendum divided City Council seats into districts.[3][4][5]

James Ferlo (born June 19, 1951) was a member of the Pennsylvania State Senate who represented the 38th Senatorial District from 2003-2015. His district consisted of parts of Allegheny, Westmoreland and Armstrong counties.[6] He did not run for reelection in 2014.[7]

Background and career[edit]

Ferlo was born to Italian immigrant parents in the small upstate town of Rome, New York, and credits part of his legislative effectiveness as being one of ten siblings.

Ferlo was a liberal community activist in the City of Pittsburgh before being elected to Pittsburgh City Council in 1987. He served on council for 15 years until his election to the State Senate in 2002. Ferlo served as president of City Council from 1994 to 1997. He currently lives in Pittsburgh's Highland Park section.

A Democrat, Ferlo was elected to the state senate in 2002, receiving 65 percent of the vote to 35 percent for Republican candidate Ted Tomson. In 2003, the political website PoliticsPA named him to "The Best of the Freshman Class" list.[8] Ferlo was overwhelmingly re-elected in 2006 in his heavily Democratic district. In that race, Ferlo received 84 percent of the vote, while his opponent Joe Murphy of the Constitution Party received 16 percent.

Personal life[edit]

Ferlo came out as gay on September 23, 2014, thus becoming the Pennsylvania Senate's first openly gay legislator. [9][10]


  1. ^ McNulty, Timothy (January 6, 1998). "O'Connell is surprise council president". The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved December 31, 2011.
  2. ^ James, Ellen (February 23, 2003). "Bodack wins council seat by few votes". The Pittsburgh Tribune. Retrieved December 31, 2011.
  3. ^ Uhl, Sherley (May 17, 1987). "Election to test city image". The Pittsburgh Press. Retrieved December 29, 2011.
  4. ^ Barnes, Tom (May 20, 1987). "Council by district wins". The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved December 31, 2011.
  5. ^ Barnes, Tom (January 5, 1988). "Apportionment to begin in Pittsburgh". The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved December 31, 2011.
  6. ^ James Ferlo Papers, 1963-2002, AIS 1998.02, Archives Service Center, University of Pittsburgh
  7. ^ State Sen. Jim Ferlo won't seek re-election
  8. ^ "The Best of the Freshman Class". PoliticsPA. The Publius Group. 2003. Archived from the original on 2003-01-19.
  9. ^ "Sen. Ferlo makes it official:". Philly.com. Retrieved 24 September 2014.
  10. ^ "Pennsylvania lawmakers push to change hate crime law". WPVI-DT, September 23, 2014.

External links[edit]